Number 3 Babe Ruth Retires
This famous photo of Babe Ruth by Nathaniel Fein, New York Herald Tribune, won the 1949 Pulitzer Prize in photography.
Yankee Stadium – June 13, 1948
The stands are packed, but the fans aren’t here just for a baseball game. They’ve come out to honor one of the greatest to ever play the game, one of baseball’s most beloved player of all time… Babe Ruth.
Buy This Print at Our Ebay Store Babe Ruth receiving a standing ovation at Yankee Stadium.
Down on the Field
New York Herald Tribune photographer Nat Fein has a close-up view of the home run hero. Ruth is slumped in the dugout, weakened by age and illness. “He looked tired, very tired; the power that had been his in his youth and manhood was slowly ebbing away.” But as Ruth begins to makes his way onto the field, the crowd goes crazy. They pay homage to their star by giving “The Sultan of Swat” a thunderous standing ovation.
Fein takes several pictures from this spot, but he isn’t satisfied. So he walks around to the back of the Babe. “I saw Ruth standing there with his uniform, No. 3, the number that would be retired, and knew that was the shot. It was a dull day, and most photographers were using flash bulbs, but I slowed the shutter and took the picture without a flash.”
The thick stock of hair, the famous number 3, the competing photographers, the cheering fans… Fein’s amazing photograph perfectly captures the story of the Babe’s bitter-sweet finale. Unfortunately, as fortune would have it, Babe Ruth passed away just two short months after this photo was taken.