Lou Gehrig bat sells for record price in online auction



2015-08-11 08:42:49

A baseball bat used by New York Yankees legend Lou Gehrig has sold for a record price in an online sports memorabilia auction.

Dating from the 1930 season, the bat was sold by Love of the Game Auctions for $436,970 – the highest price ever paid for a game-used Gehrig bat.

The value of the bat rose with the discovery of a vintage photograph showing Gehrig holding the exact same bat at Cominsky Park, sat alongside fellow Yankees Babe Ruth and Bob Shawkey. This image made the bat the only Lou Gehrig professional model bat to ever have been photo matched, and increased its grading from PSA/DNA GU 8.5 to PSA/DNA GU 9.

“This bat was given to the consignor decades ago by a family member of a former Yankee Stadium groundskeeper,” said Love of the Game (LOTG) President Al Crisafulli. “Though the consignor is a Yankee fan, the family is not a baseball family, and without knowledge of the bat’s value it was kept behind the front door for protection – for 30 years.”

In the early 2000s the bat was almost left behind when the family moved home, and years later it was almost given away to the young son of a neighbour who loved to play baseball. Then in 2009, the consigner considered sending the bat to Derek Jeter, to congratulate him on beating Gehrig's record of 2,721 hits (and in the hope he would score some Yankees tickets in return).

"Really, it is amazing that this outstanding piece of memorabilia made it this far, and its history certainly adds color to the story," said Crisafulli. "All that aside, it is gorgeous. It is important. And it is among the most exciting consignments with which an auction house can be entrusted."

"Beyond its significant value, this is the kind of item that makes baseball fans of all ages feel like kids again. Everyone wants to hold this bat – which once belonged to a true American sports legend.”

The previous record for a Gehrig bat had stood at $403,664 – set in 2011 by the bat Gehrig used to hit his final home run in April 1939.

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