Babe Ruth's exploits on field are legendary. He was a revered pitcher before moving to the outfield, all while being one of the game's best sluggers. Off the field the boisterous Sultan of Swat was notorious for... um... unsavory antics and an incredible ability to ingest monstrous amounts of comestibles.
The unsavory antics have long been a part of his legend, and are probably why an unexpected piece of memorabilia is getting a lot of attention. A photo of Babe Ruth posing with a baseball bat as his penis is drawing offers in excess of $2,000 with over a week left to bid.
Leland's, the auction house selling the photograph, calls it "one of the most unusual and interesting Babe Ruth photographs ever offered for public sale." Yes, it is.
The auction house says it's Ruth posing for friend and teammate Ed Wells before a game. Part of the reason it's drawing so much attention, besides its inherent humor and oddity, is Ruth's reputation as a philanderer. Leland's puts that part of Ruth's personality kindly saying that the photo "is an interesting reference to the prodigious size of Ruth's member which remains a part of the Bambino's legend."
The photo was obtained directly from the Wells Estate, driving home that it actually is a pretty unique item. "It is interesting to note that this perfectly embodies the camaraderie of the Babe and his teammates or actually of any players in team sports. No one else would have or have access to this kind of image," says the auction house.
The auction ends on June 17, and might arouse the interest of any collector with a mantle full of weird, sexual Yankee portraits. It can be hung right next to that portrait of Alex Rodriguez as a centaur.