2019 Winter Auction Closing March 2
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The Hall of Fame first baseman Lou Gehrig was issued this New York Yankees payroll check on April 30th, 1930, covering the first two weeks of the 1930 campaign. Gehrig began the year a little slowly, by his excellent standards, hitting a solid .275 with three homers and seven RBI between April 15th and April 30th, before heating up and putting together a career year. His batting average of .379 was Gehrig’s highest in a full season, and he led the American League with 173 RBI and 419 total bases. Gehrig crushed 41 home runs, second in the American League to Babe Ruth’s 49, while also finishing second to Ruth in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and offensive WAR.

The date of this check, April 30th, 1930, is significant, as Gehrig played the final game of his career exactly nine years later, on April 30th, 1939. Gehrig, his body slowed by the inexorable progression of ALS, finished 0-4 against the Washington Senators, leading the former Columbia star to end his record 2,130 consecutive games streak of his own volition against the Detroit Tigers on May 2nd. This offered payroll check has been signed on the front in black pen by Jacob Ruppert and Ed Barrow of the Yankees, with Gehrig’s full-name signature of “Henry Louis Gehrig” present on the reverse side of the check in black fountain pen. The check is for the value of $2,198.38, a sum the Yankees happily parted with to retain the services of their MVP first baseman. Cancellation hole punches are present on this check, appearing around the “Henry Louis” portion of Gehrig’s iconic signature. This check has been encapsulated and authenticated by PSA/DNA (83815876).

1930 Lou Gehrig Full Name Signed New York Yankees Payroll Check (PSA/DNA)
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