June Premium Card and Memorabilia auction ending June 26-27
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This lot closes on June 26, 2021 at 10:00 PM EDT for initial bids.

Lou Gehrig came off his 1927 MVP season by improving his batting average to a lofty .374 and leading the league in RBI and doubles for the second straight season. It was this and the following three seasons that saw Lou Gehrig breaking away from Babe Ruth’s shadow and emerging as a superstar in his own right. His big bat helped the Yankees win a second consecutive World Championship that fall against the Cardinals, and beginning in 1930, Gehrig went on a 3-year offensive tear that saw him recording 509 RBI, slamming 121 home runs and hitting .356. These stats, plus his almost inhuman work ethic, made the Yankees first baseman one of the most respected men in the game, and this bat helped him forge that reputation.

This bat dates to the 1928 to 1930 seasons, is one of only two known examples of a Hanna Batrite R2 models used by Gehrig and has a great back story. Herman Lang was a sportswriter in the early 1920’s in New York. During that time, Lang lived in close proximity to Gehrig and because of their backgrounds, they became very close. Lang’s nephew, Eugene Jeselsohn (his professional broadcasting name was Gene Stuart, who did play-by-play for the New York Rangers for two years with Marv Albert in the early 1970’s), was very close to his uncle. As a result, Gehrig became a regular fixture in the two households. Gene was gifted a few items directly by Gehrig over the years, with some of them being photos that were inscribed directly to Gene, referencing his Uncle Herman, the bat, and a glove and cap (during the barnstorming Japanese tour) and were donated and still reside in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

Gene Stuart passed away in 1976 and Glenn Stuart, his son, was left the Gehrig Bat. Glenn was very active in the sports memorabilia industry during his lifetime until his passing in March of 2019. The Gehrig bat was displayed in a few photographs, but Glenn never thought of selling the bat and it has been in the Stuart family for the past 90 years, only changing hands through different family generations.

The Hanna manufacturing professional player ordering records do not exist, but use of these bats at the Major League level are undisputed. The game experts at PSA/DNA closely examined Gehrig’s Professional Bat Ordering Records (PBOR) with Louisville Slugger during the late 1920’s and during the 1928 to 1930 labeling period, Gehrig’s orders were consistent with 35.5-inch length bats and weighing between 37 to 40 ounces. Additionally, the knob, handle and barrel dimensions of this Hanna bat closely resemble those of the “4-16-27” model, which was later marked as G76. At 35.375 inches and weighing 36.5 ounces, this bat is consistent with bats ordered by Gehrig between 1928 and 1930.

Also undisputed were Gehrig’s use of Hanna bats, as evidence by his testimony in the 1933 lawsuit “Hillerich & Bradsby Company vs. Hanna Manufacturing Company” which detail his use of Hanna bats. Part of Gehrig’s testimony was stated “When the Hanna Manufacturing Company made those bats for me and put my name on them it was my understanding that they were going to use my name only on bats form my own personal use and I did not give them permission to use my name on bats for sale to the general public.”

The Hanna Manufacturing dealer catalog of 1930 was the only reference to bats produced by them, with the models listed for Gehrig being “11” (which was his old model) and “77” (his new model). This offered bat displays outstanding game use with a. crack on the handle that has been repaired. This bat displays the model number “R2”, which was only seen on one other example – a photo of Gehrig with that bat at Comiskey Park in 1930. The R2 model number confirms the pro status of this bat, and the presence of “AA” that appears to the left of the head of the bat’s center brand that stands for “Alabama Ash” further cements this bat’s legitimacy. A truly historic bat from one of baseball’s most iconic players during his most dominant stretch and retains a breathtaking eye appeal. This bat comes with a LOA from PSA/DNA (1B25546) for the game use by Gehrig and has been given a very high grade of GU 9.5.

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