Lou Gehrig’s last order of bats from Louisville Slugger came late in the summer of 1938. The following spring, the disease that would take his life was starting to ravage his powerful body. Still, he kept playing, hoping whatever was bothering him would go away.
After spring training, the Yankees headed north and at a stop in Norfolk, Va., Gehrig belted a pair of long home runs. He handed his bat to a young lad who had become sort of a fixture around the team.
Bing Russell, the father of actor Kurt Russell, kept the bat until a family “auction” late in life. It wound up with his daughter, whose own son was Matt Franco, a pro ballplayer for some two decades.
Now, the Francos have turned the bat over to SCP Auctions which is offering it this month. Officials describe the bat as the single finest piece of Gehrig memorabilia they’ve handled in the company’s 32-year history.
The bat’s story–and the story of how big of a role baseball played in the Russell family, is great reading via Yahoo Sports.