Miraculous find. This is an incredibly significant beautiful original photo (6x14") of Babe Ruth with his original professional team. Ruth was attending the St. Mary's Industrial Home for Boys in West Baltimore, Maryland in 1914 when he was signed for $100 a month by the minor league Baltimore Orioles of the International League. This Oriole team was owned by famous baseball executive Jack Dunn and was an AA level team, the highest level of the minors at the time. The 19-year-old Ruth was amazing, as he won 14 of 20 decisions by midseason, a fantastic performance for a schoolboy jumping right into the highest level of the minor leagues. In addition, in an exhibition game Ruth hit an over-400 foot home run and during his time as an Oriole displayed flashes of his terrific batting power.
On July 9th of 1914, Ruth was sold to the Boston Red Sox and had a 2-1 season record for them, but spent a good portion of the remainder of the year with Boston's minor league Providence team. By 1915 Ruth was back with the Boston Red Sox, and as a great major league pitcher he had a 94-46 record, with a 2.28 ERA. In addition, Ruth at one time held the World Series record for consecutive scoreless innings with 29, a record that would last for 42 years. Of course Ruth would become an outfielder and bash 714 career home runs and become a Hall of Fame player considered by many, in view of both his hitting and pitching prowess, to be the great baseball player of all time, but the importance of this photo is that it shows the baseball legend just as he was beginning his unbelievable elevation from St. Mary's player to baseball superstar in just a few years.
This is an original photo from 1914 and has been marked in dark blue fountain ink on the front "Baltimore International 1914." The fountain ink is vintage and was written shortly after the photo was printed. This photo has great significance in that it is one of only a very few images of Ruth in an Orioles uniform. In fact, it is the only original image of him in an Orioles uniform that we have ever handled. The photo is mounted black board which is also period to 1914; the mounting process was done at the time. Since this photo is mounted, PSA can not render an opinion on it since the back of the photo paper can not be seen - this has long been the policy for them. We say with certainty that this is an original print from the 1914 time period from the original negative; the paper, the quality and contrast, the silver tint, all lead to the same determination. A few other prints of this same image have turned up, but they have not been made from the original negative. We are familiar with this photo as we sold it privately back in the 1990s. It came with a grouping of other international league photographs, all vintage prints from the time and all from the original negatives. This is an incredibly significant photograph. Ruth, on the end, is his typical jovial self, leaning casually on another player, and, evidenced by being the only one in the photo with crossed feet, the most relaxed, and confident, player in the photo. Condition report - photo is mounted on black board. The lower right corner of the photo has a 0.25" chip, and there is a very small pinhole at the upper right corner. The left corners of the photo are sharp. There is some slight scratching to the surface which is only visible when tilted the right way in the light. There is one slight ding at Babe Ruth's arm that is barely noticeable. There are no creases. The black mount has pinholes at the upper and lower left corners and the lower right corner. Some edge and corner wear to the mount, but it is not extreme by any means. With the exception of a few minor imperfections, the photo is in excellent condition.