A private collector purchased the featured item in the 2009 All Star Fan Fest Auction Tuesday afternoon, a Lou Gehrig game-worn cap.
Over 700 pieces of vintage baseball memorabilia were sold over several hours of bidding in the annual Major League Baseball All-Star auction Tuesday at the America’s Center in St. Louis.
Top bid was for a Lou Gehrig Yankees cap that dated from the late 1920 or early 30s. The blue cap, adorned with the famous "NY" interlocking logo sold for $74,750, a price that included a 15% buyer’s premium added by Hunt Auctions, which again presided over the sale. The cap was purchased by another dealer, California-based SCP Auctions, on behalf of a private collector of Yankees’ memorabilia.
One of only few known to exist, the hat has "7 1/8" and "L.Gehrig" stitched in the band. The original A.G. Spalding Brothers manufacturing label is also intact and features the short-lived hard composite bill found in hats of the 20s and early 30s era.
“This is one of the finest Lou Gehrig game-worn pieces in existence,” said David Kohler, president of SCP Auctions. “We are honored to be a part of the collector’s acquisition.”
SCP also purchased a photo signed by Babe Ruth and Gehrig from the Yankee duo’s barnstorming days. The rare autographed photo, which sold for $48,300, was of exceptionally strong condition for its age and carried a letter of authenticity from James Spence Authentication.
Another autographed item that proved popular with the live audience and those bidding via telephone was a single-signed Christy Mathewson baseball. Mathewson’s death at a relatively young age has made autographed balls bearing his signature very rare. The JSA-authenticated ball in the FanFest sale brought $50,600 against a $20-30,000 pre-sale estimate.
A Ted Williams game-worn jersey given to a young Red Sox fan in 1957 entered the hobby for the first time through this auction and sold for $60,950. Other vintage game-used jerseys included a 1949 Pee Wee Reese Brooklyn Dodgers home shirt that sold for $44,850, a 1954 Warren Spahn Braves road flannel that brought $34,500, a 1956 Stan Musial road jersey that sold for $33,350 and even a 1982 Cal Ripken rookie model that ended with a final realized price of $14,850.
Several old game-used bats drew bidding wars including a 1923-25 Ruth model ($46,000), a 1921-31 era Ty Cobb ($43,999) and a 1965-68 Mickey Mantle ($22,959).
Baseball card collectors watched a rare 1954 Wilson Franks Ted Williams (graded SGC 88 NM/MT) soar to $40,250 while a 1933 Goudey Ruth #144 (PSA 8 NM/MT) will cost the winner $18,400.