2017 October Legends Closing November 11
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 11/12/2017

     As the 1939 season began, Lou Gehrig knew something was wrong. His swing had lost all its velocity and his once powerful legs felt as if he was running in sand. Once regarded as the most solid first baseman in the league, Gehrig now missed easy plays. Where he was once the team’s most valuable asset, he now found himself hindering its success. True to his selfless nature, Lou Gehrig took himself out of the line up on May 2, 1939, the first time in a 2130 game stretch that began in 1925.

     Within months, Gehrig was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a little-known, but terminal affliction. His decline would be fast, and as such, Major League Baseball and the Yankees quickly began preparations to honor the beloved Yankee. The first idea was to honor Gehrig at that year’s All-Star Game to be held at Yankee Stadium. However, this was eventually rejected in order to give him his own “day” on July 4, 1939. Gehrig was instead made honorary captain of the American League squad at the All-Star Game, which was the last time he appeared on field at Yankee Stadium, one week after his famous "I am the luckiest man on the face of the Earth" speech.

     Presented is a very rare 1939 All-Star Game team signed baseball. The game itself was a pitcher’s duel, with the AL’s Red Ruffing, Tommy Bridges and Bob Feller allowing just seven hits and Joe DiMaggio hit a solo home run off Chicago’s Bill Lee in the 5th inning. 29 All-Stars of both leagues have signed the Spalding Official League ball including Lou Gehrig. This is likely they only known 1939 all-star team signed baseball with Gehrig’s actual signature and not the clubhouse version often seen on other exemplars. Adding to the museum quality of this baseball are the signatures of Hall of Famers Walter Johnson and Tris Speaker, who have also added their names to this ball, which is also the only known instance where these two legends have appeared on a 1939 All-Star Game ball. Given the significance of the game and the honoring of Gehrig, fellow Hall of Famers understood the importance of being present to honor one of the greats.

     Other Hall of Famers that have signed this baseball include Ernie Lombardi, Jimmie Foxx, Hank Greenberg, Joe Cronin, Arky Vaughan, Bill Terry, Luke Appling, Gabby Hartnett, Ted Lyons, Joe Medwick, Bob Feller, Lefty Gomez, Mel Ott and manager Joe McCarthy. Other stars of 1939 game that have added their signatures include Frank Hayes, Bucky Walters, Ivan Goodman, Billy Jurges, Morrie Arnovich, Lonny Frey, Rollie Helmsley, Bob Johnson, Frank McCormick, Buck Newsom and coach Art Fletcher have all placed their respective signatures on this baseball. The ball comes with an LOA from PSA/DNA (AD07112) for the signatures. For historical comparison, the Dieges & Clust 10 Karat presentation pin that was presented to Lou Gehrig at the 1939 All-Star Game and was worn by him on the field was previously sold by Goldin Auctions for $171,500.

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $15,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $24,550.00
Number Bids: 6
Auction closed on Sunday, November 12, 2017.
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