Long before there was a “collector market” for game-worn baseball jerseys, those old button downs were often passed down through a team’s minor league system.
Such is the story of a 1937 Yankees jersey that is now being sold at Heritage Auctions.
The interior collar of the pinstriped flannel includes the chain-stitched “L. Gehrig”, faded but legible. While its trip to the Yankees farm system about 75 years ago resulted in the removal of the original “NY” and number “4”, as well as other alterations, the jersey has been photo-matched to an image baseball fans surely recognize.
Authentication work reveals that Lou Gehrig appears to be wearing the jersey in the photo that appears on the 1941 Memorial Game ticket and that same photo was used to create the famed Gehrig plaque that sits permanently inside Yankee Stadium’s Monument Park.
MEARS has rated the jersey A6.5.
Gehrig enjoyed his last big season in 1937, hitting .351 with 37 home runs and 158 runs batted in.
Including the buyer’s premium that will be added at the close, the current bid for the jersey is $384,000 with a pre-sale estimate of $800,000 or more. It’s part of the Heritage Platinum Night Auction, set to continue through August 12.
The jersey will be on display at the Heritage Auctions booth during the National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago July 26-30.