Exceedingly rare and possibly unique game-action photograph of Ty Cobb sliding into third base during the Addie Joss benefit game on July 24, 1911. Encapsulated and certified as an original Type I photograph by PSA/DNA. Aside from the famous Charles Conlon photo of Cobb, this is arguably the finest Cobb photo in the hobby, notable for both its rarity and historical significance, as well as its aesthetic appeal. Cobb is pictured here as he slides feet first into third base while Cleveland third baseman Terry Turner attempts to make the tag. Game-action scenes of Cobb are rare, especially of him sliding. The fact that this image was taken during his participation in the Addie Joss Benefit Game adds to its significance. Aside from the famous team panorama from the Addie Joss Benefit Game (which is one of the most important photographic baseball images from the era), we have seen just a few other photos from that day, all of which are posed shots taken prior to the game. This is the ONLY game-action photo we have seen and the fact that it pictures Cobb, sliding no less, adds to its appeal.
The Joss Benefit Game, held on July 24, 1911, in Cleveland, was one of the most famous events of the dead-ball era. The game was held to raise money for Addie Joss' family and to pay tribute to the great Cleveland pitcher, who unexpectedly died in his prime on April 14th of that year as a result of severe complications related to meningitis. All regular-season games were canceled to accommodate the scheduling of this historic benefit game, which matched the Cleveland Naps against a team composed of the greatest All-Stars of the American League, including such luminaries as Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Sam Crawford, Frank Baker, and Tris Speaker.
Although there is no photographer's credit on the reverse, nor any other markings or identifiers, this photo can be conclusively attributed to the Addie Joss Benefit Game because of one peculiar anomaly: Cobb is wearing a Cleveland Naps uniform. One of the most famous sidenotes to the game was the fact that Cobb forgot to pack his Detroit uniform. As a result, he was left with no choice but to borrow an extra Cleveland uniform from the host club. Cobb can also be seen wearing his Cleveland uniform in the famous team panorama from this game. Cobb had two hits in four at-bats in the game, which helped the All-Stars defeat Cleveland 5-3. The photo (10 x 8 inches) displays a tiny edge tear along the top border and is in Excellent condition overall. Reserve $5,000. Estimate (open).