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Iconic Signed Photo of Ruth and Gehrig by Arthur Hull Hits the Auction Block

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A rare photograph signed by baseball legends Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, captured by acclaimed photographer Arthur Hull, is poised for auction. This meticulously preserved piece, authenticated by PSA, showcases the unparalleled legacy of two of baseball’s greatest figures.

In the pantheon of baseball memorabilia, certain pieces stand out for their historical importance and the stories they encapsulate. A recently discovered photograph of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, signed by the legendary duo and authenticated as a Type 1 original, is one such artifact. Captured by Arthur Hull, a photographer celebrated for his work with The New York Times and The Associated Press, this photograph is a poignant reminder of the golden age of baseball, featuring two of its most iconic figures during a relaxed moment at the Yankees' spring training camp between 1927 and 1931.

The photograph, which showcases Ruth and Gehrig's camaraderie and joy, was autographed by the pair with a level of care that reflects Hull's dedication to his craft and his subjects. Keith Breitweiser, an acquisitions specialist at Lelands, which is handling the sale, notes the exceptional quality of the autographs and the photograph itself, stating, "These are the two most iconic players who ever played the game on the most iconic team. The autographs are some of the nicest you’ll find."

This photograph's journey to auction is a tale of historical preservation and serendipity. After Hull's death in 1969, his collection, including this signed photograph, was acquired by Karl Allison and a friend from Hull's widow. This acquisition, made for a nominal sum, included a treasure trove of negatives and photographs spanning Hull's five-decade career. Among these was the signed photograph of Ruth and Gehrig, which Allison chose to keep, ensuring its preservation by storing it away from light and creating a duplicate for display purposes.

The significance of this photograph extends beyond its visual appeal; it represents a rare opportunity to own a piece of sports history. Signed photographs of Ruth and Gehrig, particularly those authenticated as Type 1 originals and in excellent condition, are exceedingly rare and highly coveted by collectors. As such, the auction of this photograph, beginning on February 25, is expected to attract significant interest from collectors and enthusiasts alike, offering a unique chance to acquire a tangible piece of baseball's storied past.

The forthcoming auction not only highlights the enduring fascination with Ruth and Gehrig but also underscores the importance of meticulous preservation and the role of photography in capturing and commemorating the legends of the sport. As this photograph prepares to find a new home, it continues to celebrate the legacy of two of baseball's most revered figures, immortalized by Arthur Hull's lens and preserved through the decades as a testament to their monumental impact on the game and American culture at large.

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