Gehrig bat used for fi­nal homers up for auc­tion

Vancouver Sun - - SPORTS - VIN A. CHERWOO The As­so­ci­ated Press

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.

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