July 23, 1920 Babe Ruth Photograph by George Grantham Bain (PSA/DNA Type 1)

Price: $18,500

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As the market for sports photographs matures, collectors are becoming increasingly attuned to the nuance that separates good images from great ones. The traditional “Four C's” (Content, Clarity, Contrast and Condition) are a baseline criterion all should abide by in assessing photographs, but astute collectors today are putting increasing value on a fifth “C,” that being Context. 

A case in point is the image offered here. Born from the lens and darkroom of George Grantham Bain, the most celebrated and collectible photographer of the first quarter of the twentieth-century game, Babe Ruth is pictured standing in front of the backstop of New York's Polo Grounds. While various markings adorn the back of this 4.75" by 6.5" Culver Pictures sourced image, our research has found another example of this photograph with a date stamp pinpointing its origin to July 23, 1920. The relevance of this exact dating is critically important for full comprehension of the piece.