This dramatic photograph was taken on June 13, 1948, at Yankee Stadium (the house that Ruth built). It was the 25th anniversary of the stadium and the day the Babe's number was retired. Ruth, thin and frail as a result of a long illness, emerged from the dugout into "the caldron of sound he must have known better than any other man." Everyone knew then, as he must have known himself, that The Babe had worn his old uniform for the last time. He died only two months later on August 16, 1948. The famed number 3 will never again be worn by a Yankee player. The Babe Bows Out won a Pulitzer Prize for photographer Nat Fein. This magnificent photograph is featured in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and the Smithsonian Institute.
In his three decades with The New York Herald Tribune, Mr. Fein, who called himself ''just a human-interest photographer,'' took thousands of pictures evoking life in New York. Using a bulky Speed Graphic camera, he photographed circus elephants sleeping, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia leading the Sanitation Department orchestra, and Dr. Albert Schweitzer kneeling to shake a little girl's hand.
Nathaniel Fein was born in Manhattan, joined The Herald Tribune as a copy boy in the early 1930's and became a staff photographer in 1939. He served as a photographer in the Army Air Forces during World War II, then returned to The Herald Tribune and remained there until it went out of business in 1966.
Mr. Fein's photographs appeared in Edward Steichen's ''Family of Man'' show at the Museum of Modern Art in 1955, and a collection of his photos was published as ''Nat Fein's Animals'' (Gilbert Press, 1955).