An 80 year-old photograph and a Babe Ruth game used bat are among the items in Lelands’ upcoming auction.
Lelands.com opens its next catalog auction Tuesday with a rare 1927 World Series photo among the lots.
The company calls the photo featuring Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth the finest it has ever handled, and according to Lelands founder Josh Evans, “Maybe the first $100,000 sports photo ever auctioned.”
The photo features two of America’s most famous sports figures together at a very special time and place; October of 1927 at game 1 of the World Series. It measures 7” x 8 1/4” and is date stamped October 5, 1927.
A company press release describes the photo:
The silver gelatin photograph exhibits amazing clarity and contrast, which is poignant in that there is such a contrast between the personalities of the two legends it depicts. Gehrig being reserved, disciplined and steady. Ruth flamboyant, flashy and overpowering in every regard. In fact for lengthy periods of time, the two hardly spoke. Gehrig the team captain trying to adhere to the etiquette and integrity of the game, and Ruth constantly following his own Ruthian protocol.
A Babe Ruth game used bat dating from 1929 is also expected to draw attention. According to Lelands, Ruth originally presented the bat to a Yankee Stadium clubhouse staffer who gave it to the grandfather of the consignor. The story is that after hitting three home runs with the bat, Ruth felt there was some defect in the lumber and relinquished it to the clubhouse worker.
Also included in the sale is an item you may have read about a few weeks ago–a game worn Gehrig cap, given by Gehrig to Dr. Paul O’Leary, his Doctor at The Mayo Clinic, in appreciation for all that he was doing to treat the Yankee star. It was most likely presented to Dr. O’Leary during the 1939 visit when Gehrig was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. O’Leary continued to treat Gehrig afterward, with the two exchanging letters about his condition.
The 7 1/8” A.G. Spalding & Bros. Made in U.S.A. hat has a leather band which is embroidered “7 1/8 L. Gehrig”. It features a hard brim and vintage small NY logo on the front. Lelands indicates it was "worn by the Iron Horse during his game played streak, as the evident game use of the hat attests."
“We are extremely proud to be able to offer these rare Ruth and Gehrig items in our May Catalogue Auction," Evans said. "Especially in the final year of operations for Yankee Stadium, the house that Ruth, and Gehrig for that matter, built.”
The auction will also feature hundreds of lots of memorabilia from all sports. Among the other high profile items to be featured is the last hockey stick used by Bobby Orr as a Bruin as well as an Orr game worn All-Star jersey, Jim Thorpe’s Track & Field Hall of Fame ring, a 2004 Boston Red Sox World Series Championship Ring, Daryl Strawberry’s Yankees World Series ring, a Mint signed Ty Cobb baseball and an Eddie Plank hand written letter to his son.
The auction ends June 6.