Summer Games 2004
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This lot is closed. Bidding ended on 7/7/2004.
"I'm not a headline guy and we might as well face it. I'm just the guy who's in there every day, the fellow who follows Babe in the batting order." These are the humble words, so typical, of the Yankees "Iron Horse" Lou Gehrig. The modest and unassuming Yankee first baseman was an RBI machine. He won four American League titles, tied for another, and his 184 RBI explosion in 1931 still stands as the American League single season record. From 1926 to 1938, Gehrig averaged an incredible 147 RBI's per season. A lifetime .340 hitter, Lou won the Triple Crown in 1934, hit four homers in a game in 1932 and averaged .361 in 34 World Series games. Despite all of his great offensive accomplishments, Gehrig will always be remembered for his "Iron Horse" streak of 2130 games that came to an abrupt end in 1939, when he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral scleroses. Two years later the nation mourned the death of this great Yankee. Offered is what ordering records strongly lead us to believe is Lou Gehrig's 1932 World Series bat. Factory ordering records pinpoint this bat as being one of two orders made for Gehrig on either August 27, 1932 or September 17, 1932. The September order includes the notation "World Series". The bat can be placed specifically to these two orders because of the special notation "not boiled in oil" that appears only on these two records. Professional model bats manufactured in 1932 contained the barrel brand "Powerized and Oil tempered" above the center brand. "Powerized" as it appears on this bat, is only seen on bats made in 1932 and, as you can see in the photographs, there is a large gap between "Powerized" and the center brand. It is very clear "and Oil Tempered" has been omitted, per the factory records. Also, the next record for Gehrig is April 11, 1933. All his 1933 records include the notation "mark wts (weights) on knob". Therefore, since no weight is stamped into the knob of this bat, it can only be from 1932. Finally, the two bats ordered by Gehrig on August 27, 1932 weighed 36 ounces. The September 17 World Series order calls for 37 ounce bats. The weight of this bat today is 36.6 ounces as measured on our digital scale. Knowing that bats dry over the years and lose weight, we believe this bat weighed 37.5 ounces when new. When we consider all the above information, we believe the bats weight places it in the September 17 World Series order rather than the August 27, regular season order. This Lou Gehrig game used bat is uncracked and shows evidence of outstanding game use. The right barrel is covered with ball marks, ball stitch marks and cleat marks. Evidence of strong game use are also present on the left and back barrel. The handle of the bat is well worn and tapers in to Gehrig's classic small knob. Small knobs were Lou's preference until he changed to the larger "Ruth Knob" beginning in September 1933. On the front barrel of the bat in vintage fountain pen is the endearing personalization "To Joe, Many Thanks With Kindest Personal Regards Cordially, Lou Gehrig." We were told by our client that this bat was given by Gehrig to Joe DeBragga, a personal friend of Gehrig who worked for the New York State Parole Board. DeBragga assisted Lou with a legal matter and the bat was given to him in appreciation of his efforts. The bat was purchased by our consignor from an estate. This is the first time the bat has been has been offered. The inscription and autograph are blazers. We are proud to offer this autographed Lou Gehrig 1932 World Series bat. The bats historical significance places it with the finest known pieces of game used memorabilia in any collection, public or private. We feel the winning bidder of this magnificent piece will truly be the "luckiest man or woman on the face of the earth."
1932 Lou Gehrig World Series Autographed Game-Used Bat (PSA/DNA)
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Minimum Bid: $50,000
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Number Bids: 1
Auction closed on Wednesday, July 7, 2004.
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