Gehrig bat used for final homers up for auction
The bat Lou Gehrig used to hit his last two home runs, in an exhibition game in 1939, is being auctioned off again.
Once owned by actor Kurt Russell’s family, the bat is part of a Yankees Legends offering by Heritage Auctions. The entire collection is from one owner and has mostly New York Yankees-related memorabilia, including a bat used by Roger Maris in 1961. There’s also a glove used by Mickey Mantle in 1965 and signed baseballs from various Yankees championship teams.
The online auction opened Tuesday and closes on Dec. 10 at 11 p.m. ET. The collection also includes a Babe Ruth bat from his rookie season with the Boston Red Sox in 1915, a bat used by Ted Williams in the all-star game in 1960, a bat used by Jackie Robinson during his 1949 National League MVP season and a ball signed by .400 hitters Ty Cobb, Rogers Hornsby, Ted Williams, George Sisler and Bill Terry.
“There’s a lot of cool pieces in here starting with that rookie Ruth bat,” Chris Ivy, Heritage’s director of sports auctions, said.
“Ruth coming from Boston to the Yankees in 1920 is really what changed their fortunes. In 1923, they built the new stadium and started winning championships to become the most successful franchise.”
Ivy said all the autographed items have been vetted by multiple authentication services.
Gehrig retired after appearing in only eight games in 1939 while suffering from ALS. He had no homers in 28 at-bats that year.
The slugger gave the bat he used for the homers in the exhibition game to Bing Russell, Kurt Russell’s father, who was a bat boy with the Yankees. It stayed in the family until Jill Franco, Kurt Russell’s sister and the mother of former major leaguer Matt Franco, sold it in an auction in Nov. 2011 for US$403,664.