Published: February 25, 2020
DALLAS — Before Lou Gehrig joined the Yankees and had a bat with his signature burned into the barrel, the future “Iron Horse” player had a bat with his last name in sideways-oriented block lettering. That differentiation places this bat in the Yankee legend’s hands either as a member of the Columbia University team, the Hartford Senators or the Yankees — or perhaps all three. Factory sidewriting on the barrel of the bat reads, “40 oz., Lou Gehrig, 4-22-25” — a date just over a month before the start of the Hall of Fame first baseman’s legendary consecutive games streak. One of the two earliest bats ever attributed to Lou Gehrig, it brought $1.14 million to lead Heritage Auctions’ Winter Platinum night sports collectibles catalog auction February 22-23.
Gehrig’s first call-up to the Yankees came in New York’s 1923 World Series championship season, a stint during which he hit the first of his 493 career home runs and driving in Babe Ruth on a play that would become a staple of their tenure together. Inking the endorsement contract with Hillerich & Bradsby is significant, because after that deal was signed, Gehrig joined the ranks of star players who swung bats with facsimiles of their signatures burned into the barrel of the bats. For more information, www.ha.com or 877-437-4824.
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