$507,875 Lou Gehrig Japan tour jersey smashes estimate at Heritage

 

A baseball jersey worn by New York Yankees hero Lou Gehrig has comfortably beaten its estimate at an auction in the US.

The first baseman wore the specially designed uniform during a 1934 tour of Japan with many other greats of the game.

As we predicted, it easily surpassed its $300,000 estimate, selling for $507,875 at Heritage Auctions' August 4 sale of sports memorabilia.


Iron Horse's 1934 Japan tour jersey
easily beat its $300,000-estimate

It was not the only Gehrig item to perform well at the auction, again demonstrating the enduring appeal of the finest classic baseball collectibles.

Gehrig's 1928 New York Yankees World Championship wristwatch, estimated at $20,000, sold for a staggering $155,350, while a game-worn Gehrig cap from the Japan tour made $95,600.

"The Gehrig items are the equivalent of essentially a new Picasso being discovered in the art world," Chris Ivy of Heritage Auctions told the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper.

"The [Japanese] tour really grew the game of baseball in Japan, essentially giving us guys like Sadaharu Oh and Ichiro Suzuki. It was the seminal event that helped Japan embrace the game of baseball."

Gehrig's uniform was not the most expensive lot of the night, however. That honour went to a Cy Young Boston Red Sox jersey from 1908, which made $657,250.

A lipstick-marked baseball, kissed and autographed by Marilyn Monroe, and also signed by husband Joe DiMaggio and the 1952 World Series champion New York Yankees team, sold for $59,750 against a $20,000 estimate.

There was less good news for a baseball mistakenly autographed "Reagan Reagan" by former US president Ronald Reagan in 1984. It failed to meet its $10,000 estimate, coming in at $5,975.

 

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