Historic Bob Feller Bat on Exhibit at National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – It is arguably the most famous photo taken of the game’s biggest star, and the image Nat Fein captured for the New York Herald Tribune on June 13, 1948, perfectly preserved the final days of Babe Ruth.

The uniform Ruth wore that day at Yankee Stadium has been on exhibit for years at the Hall of Fame as part of the Museum’s tribute to the Sultan of Swat. Now, thanks to a long-term loan from the Cleveland Guardians, the bat Ruth was holding in that picture is also featured in Cooperstown.

Ruth, who was terminally ill and would pass away a little more than two months after the photo, was being honored that day at Yankee Stadium as the team retired his No. 3 jersey. Entering the Yankee Stadium field from the visitor’s dugout, Ruth grabbed a bat to use as a cane – a bat belonging to Cleveland star pitcher Bob Feller.

Feller kept the bat after the ceremony and it eventually was on display for many years at his museum in Van Meter, Iowa, before it was gifted to the Cleveland Guardians organization following Feller’s passing.

The bat, which debuted on exhibit in Cooperstown on the 76th anniversary of the Nat Fein photo, will be on exhibit in the Museum’s Babe Ruth: His Life and Legend exhibit through 2025. The photo, along with the uniform Ruth wore that day, greets Museum guests as they enter the exhibit, which gives visitors the chance to encounter Ruth’s grandeur in the words of the people who saw it.