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1948 "The Babe Bows Out" Pulitzer Prize-Winning Original Large Photograph
Closed Auction

About the item

He called himself "just a human-interest photographer," snapping thousands of photos of life in the Big Apple during three decades as an employee of The New York Herald Tribune. But Nat Fein's prolific career would ultimately come to be defined by a single image, a haunting study of fame and mortality entitled "The Babe Bows Out." Today this shot of Ruth's final appearance in Yankee pinstripes ranks among the most famous sports photos in history.Leaning upon a bat transformed from the tool of his immortality into a cane to support his failing body, the Babe humbly accepts the honor of his jersey retirement this day, June 13, 1948. The vastness of Yankee Stadium extends toward the horizon, the grandstands packed with fans anxious for one final look at their dying hero. Near the right side of the image, two photographers prepare their cameras for another shot, but only Fein claimed this unique rear vantage point, explaining that he had considered the number "3" to be the story of the day.While this image has been reprinted countless times in the six and a half decades since its birth, first generation prints remain the most elusive of prey for the advanced baseball photography collector. This particular example bears the twin hallmarks of top representations, the proper "Photo by Nat Fein, Staff Photographer, New York Herald Tribune," stamping on verso and an autograph from the photographer on lower right front, personalized to a friend.The condition on this stunning, original, vintage first-generation image of Ruth's final farewell is clean and sharp. The definitive example of the greatest artwork ever produced on a Major League diamond. Photo is 14x9.5". HID07601242017
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