03/22/11 9:15 PM ET
Historic film clip of Ruth and Gehrig found
By Jim Street / MLB.com
Amid eight reels of 16-millimeter film recently found in excellent condition in an Illinois cellar are three and a half minutes of Ruth and Gehrig wearing the uniforms, but not the caps, of their barnstorming teams, according to The New York Times. The film is believed to have been shot with a high-end home movie camera in or around Sioux City, Iowa, on Oct. 18, 1927 -- 10 days after the Yankees completed a four-game World Series sweep of the Pirates.
"I haven't seen anything like that," Ruth's grandson Tom Stevens told the Times. "It doesn't mean that there isn't other stuff out there, but I haven't seen it."
Stevens, Ruth's 58-year-old grandson who was born four years after Ruth's death, is the only child of 94-year-old Julia Ruth Stevens, one of Babe Ruth's two daughters (one from each of his two marriages) and the only one still alive.
Major League Baseball has only about an hour's worth of Babe Ruth video in its archives, according to the newspaper.
The 1927 season has been one of the most discussed campaigns in MLB history. The Yankees unleashed their Murderer's Row lineup and posted a 110-44 regular-season record before sweeping the National League champion Pirates in the Fall Classic.
That Yankees team is regarded by many as the best team in MLB history. Ruth, 32, hit 60 home runs that year, a record that stood for 34 years. Gehrig, 24, hit 47 home runs -- more than anyone in history to that point other than Ruth -- and was selected as the American League Most Valuable Player.
It is uncertain just how rare or valuable the film is, but a photograph of Ruth's and Gehrig's barnstorming teams, the Bustin' Babes and the Larrupin' Lous, from a game in Des Moines and dated Oct. 17, 1927, sold in December for $33,000.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.