1934 Lou Gehrig Tour of Japan uniform may bring $300,000+ in Heritage Auction “Shoeless Joe” Jackson’s “Black Betsy” bat, Bobby Jones’ personal Augusta National Green Jacket, 1908 Cy Young Boston Red Sox Uniform, 1952 Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe signed baseball highlight th
News-Antique.com - Jul 05,2011 - ROSEMONT, IL – A jaw-dropping gathering of important sports memorabilia, led by Lou Gehrig’s 1934 Tour of Japan game worn uniform, from The Lou Gehrig Collection, is set to thrill collectors at Heritage Auctions’ Thursday, Aug. 4 Signature® Sports Collectibles Platinum Auction, taking place in conjunction with the Chicago National Sports Show in Rosemont, Il. The incredible Gehrig gamer is estimated to bring $300,000+, and is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the amazing grouping Heritage has assembled for the auction.
“There are dozens of pieces in this auction that would, individually, be the lead lot on their own in any other auction,” said Chris Ivy, Director of Heritage Sports Collectibles. “Needless to say, it’s an issue that we’re happy to have. This is easily one of the finest groupings of material that the hobby has ever seen.”
The 1934 Gehrig Tour of Japan uniform represents what is unquestionably the most significant hobby find of the young decade, solving a widely debated mystery regarding one of baseball’s most noteworthy foreign excursions. Only a tiny handful of uniforms from this famous trip have been unearthed in the 75 years since Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx and about a dozen other American players steamed back to our shores, with the Babe's uniform commanding more than $750,000 in a 2005 auction – the highest price ever paid at auction for an exhibition baseball uniform. This left hobbyists wondering where, and if, Gehrig's might ever be found.
“It wasn’t Moe Berg-inspired intelligence gathering that led us to this buried treasure,” said Ivy, “but rather a simple telephone call from the son of a serious ex-girlfriend of Gehrig’s, who almost became Mrs. Gehrig before Eleanor took the job.”
Despite the fractured romance, this ex remained close with Gehrig and his family, a bond that survived past Gehrig’s tragic 1941 death and until Lou's mother herself passed away in the 1950s. The special friendship is documented in Christina Gehrig's will, which provided for a college fund for the consignor and stipulated that a portion of her famous son's belongings be left to her.
For more than half a century this uniform, and the four other pieces in The Lou Gehrig Collection in this auction, resided in the familial home of Gehrig's ex, its residents largely unaware of the historic and monetary value stored in the attic. All that, however, has changed as these treasures have come to light.
Besides the Gehrig Tour of Japan uniform, there can be no doubt that the most coveted of these pieces will be Gehrig’s 1928 New York Yankees World Championship wristwatch, estimated at $20,000+, earned by Gehrig for his extraordinary service in capturing the Yankees' third World Championship.
A true masterpiece of art deco timepiece design, this Hamilton "Yankee Piping Rock" watch is coveted for more than its relevance to baseball's greatest age/hero. The design is considered the crowning achievement of the period's leading manufacturer of timepieces, and has been widely reproduced in more recent decades. Advanced