Satchel Paige’s Iconic Snapshot Headlines RMY Auctions

If one picture paints a thousand words, then the RMY Auctions’ May event is an encyclopedic treatise on 20th-century sports and entertainment history. Among the trove of over 900 photographs, an iconic black and white image from 1948 grabs the spotlight. It’s a compelling snapshot of baseball titans, Satchel Paige and Bob Feller. The simple 7 x 8 ¾” photo conspicuously marks the era when Paige vaulted from the Negro Leagues onto Major League Baseball’s pitch with Cleveland. This picture wasn’t just relegated to family albums or dusty drawers, it was immortalized on Paige’s most valuable rookie card by Leaf in 1949.

Peering deeper into the auction catalogue, another rarity surfaces. It’s a Type I original print of Satchel Paige playing for the Kansas City Monarchs. As we leaf through sports history, a myriad of timeless moments emerges, captured by relentless photographers who have crafted an unforgettable visual diary of a bygone era.

In a bid to cover the full spectrum of a century, the catalogue doesn’t skimp on variety or value. A noticeable exhibit is a century-old silver gelatin image encapsulating the youthful prowess of a 23-year-old Jim Thorpe, professionally framed by the lens of George Grantham Bain.

An impressive selection of baseball memorabilia is also for grabs. There are photos of early 20th-century baseball star Jack Chesbro, captured on a 1905 PC782 Rotograph real photo postcard, and a snapshot of Carl Hubbell from 1934 that was used for his 1933-36 Diamond Stars baseball card. Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig also have a significant share of the spotlight, with captivating photos documenting Ruth’s first season with the Yankees in 1920 and a stirring scene from the 1928 World Series.

Modern era enthusiasts are not left behind. A striking 1972 photo recalls Roberto Clemente making his 3000th career hit, and a historic shot captures Wilt Chamberlain right after he set the record for scoring 100 points in one game. The collection culminates with a slice from the life of the NBA’s wonder, Michael Jordan, etched through the lenses of Chicago area photographers.

Even with a generous sprinkling of gravitas, the auction isn’t short of whimsy. Joe DiMaggio’s clubhouse antics and Ted Williams riding a zebra paint an eclectic picture. Through the lens, we see a panoramic view of the past century, a treasure trove that resonates with collectors, history buffs, and photography enthusiasts alike. The auction awaits your bids, with the gavel set to fall on May 11th.


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