With Babe Ruth finally out of the picture, Lou Gehrig had become baseball’s marquee name in 1936. He had played in more than 1,700 consecutive games but showed no sign of fatigue. Now, a rare candid image from that season–taken in the ballpark of the Yanks’ biggest rival–is on the auction block.
RMY Auctions has kicked off its March Collectors Auction with over 500 vintage photos, including a newly-discovered image of Gehrig, posing at Fenway Park prior to the Yankees-Red Sox game on the afternoon of August 5.
Dated on the back, the 4″ x 6″ full length photo shows Gehrig, wearing his gray flannel Yankees road jersey, just before the Yankees’ 7-2 win–a game in which young Joe DiMaggio would belt a homer and Gehrig would rap out three singles, raising his batting average to .380.
He was also leading the A.L. in runs (127) and homers (33). Still, the Yankees weren’t enough of a draw to even come close to filling Fenway on a warm summer weekday. Only about 7,500 fans paid to watch the two clubs play.
Over 3,700 miles away on the same afternoon, Jesse Owens was capturing his third Olympic medal in Hitler’s Germany as he raced to victory in the 200 meters at the 1936 Summer Games.
Gehrig would win the MVP award that season and the Yankees would return to glory, beating the New York Giants in the World Series.
The auction is set to run through Saturday, March 28 at RMYAuctions.com.