What's believed to be the earliest known signature of Lou Gehrig is on the auction block. The signature reinforces that Gehrig wasn't averse to using his traditional first name when committing pen to paper.
Signed "Henry Gehrig January 1917," the autograph is penned in a grammar school classmate's autograph book. It's one of the items being offered by Helotes, Tex.-based Imperial Sports Auctions.
From 1908 through 1917, Gehrig attended a Manhattan public grammar school known as Fort Washington PS 132. His fellow classmate, Percival Singerman, while not on the merit list for attendance, excelled in academics. On Percival's graduation day January 31, 1917, Gehrig shared his signature boldly across one page of his friend's book along with several other classmates.
The book has remained in the family for nearly a century until now. According to the company, the consignor is the son of the young boy who received Gehrig's signature along with several other classmates that January in 1917. A notarized Letter of Provenance from the consignor along with additional supporting documentation from the Fort Washington PS 132 school also accompanies the lot.
Several other key pieces of vintage baseball memorabilia are being offered in the auction as well. They include a scarce 1913 World Tour pennant with Christy Mathewson depicted, a HOF signed baseball with signatures of Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Honus Wagner and more. Other signed baseballs up for bid include Babe Ruth, Roger Maris, Jackie Robinson and Jimmie Foxx. Other early autographs in the auction include Miller Huggins, Ruth, Gehrig and other members of the 1927 Yankees, otherwise known as 'Murderers Row.'
Vintage card lots include caramel cards of Ty Cobb and Christy Mathewson along with a high grade Babe Ruth Exhibit postcard. A very scarce 1916 BF2
Late last year, the company offered a Ty Cobb autographed T206 tobacco card and related ephemera which sold for $27,600.