A 1927 Lou Gehrig jersey, an early Babe Ruth bat and the first gold medal from the U.S. Olympic hockey team’s 1980 upset over the Soviet Union highlight Heritage Auctions’ next event, set for Nov. 4 and 5 in Dallas.
“It’s a great thrill, and an immense privilege, to present these pieces to the collecting hobby,” said Chris Ivy, Director of Heritage’s Sports Collectibles division (HSC). “They’re the ultimate symbols of two truly unforgettable times in American sports history.”
The Lou Gehrig jersey was worn by the great Iron Horse during the most storied season in New York Yankees history. Though 1927 is most commonly associated with Babe Ruth’s record 60 home run campaign, it was Gehrig who earned the American League Most Valuable Player Award that year as a leading fixture of the team forever remembered in baseball history as Murderer’s Row. The jersey is estimated at $600,000+.
“Photographic evidence leaves no doubt that this is one of the two home white pinstriped jerseys worn by Gehrig during the 1927 season,” Ivy claimed.
Widely recognized as the greatest single moment in American sports, the victory of the long-shot underdog US Olympic Hockey team over the USSR in the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid still raises goose bumps three decades later. Heritage has been chosen to sell a Gold Medal presented to one of the players on that heroic team, center Mark Wells. It carries a pre-auction estimate of $100,000+.
“This is the first ever appearance of a ‘Miracle’ medal on the auction block,” said Ivy. “The interest in this piece is simply off the charts, and with good reason.”
The earliest known Babe Ruth game used bat, used by the star left-handed pitcher during the 1916 Boston Red Sox World Championship season, should likewise draw no shortage of attention from the collecting community. It carries an estimate of $100,000+.
Heritage says the bat was returned to the Louisville Slugger bat factory by the 21 year-old Bambino for duplication, and still bears the factory worker’s handwriting. Heritage sold an unsigned Ruth bat last year for just under $540,000.
Also making their hobby debut are jerseys worn by Hall of Famers Warren Spahn and Eddie Mathews during the Milwaukee Braves’ 1957 World Championship season, rescued by the consignor from an Iowa farm club’s locker room after the jerseys had been sent to the minors for secondary usage.
Certainly of note to collectors of high-end cardboard is a recently revealed “Holy Grail” of trading card collecting, the T206 Honus Wagner. This one adds to the known population of these cards, having been consigned by a Virginia nun who plans to use the sale proceeds to fund the charitable endeavors of her church. It carries an estimate of $100,000+.
Other artifacts making their auction debut are a collection of individual photographic portraits of the 1874 Philadelphia Athletics including pioneering Hall of Famers Adrian “Cap” Anson and Alfred J. Reach, estimated at $20,000+, and the only known single signed baseball from earth twentieth century Hall of Fame pitcher Vic Willis, also estimated at $20,000+.
Among the highlights in the trading card section of the auction is the second verified example of the rare 1887 N690 Kalamazoo Bats Jim O’Rourke card (estimate: $40,000+), and the highest-graded 1910 E93 Standard Caramel Honus Wagner, rating FR 1.5 and NM/MT 8 respectively according to SGC graders (Estimate: $40,000+).
The number one 1911-14 D304 Brunners Bread Near Master Set will be made available to bidders both as individual cards and as a single lot, with the winner(s) crowned when the higher total between the sum of the multiple lots and the high bid for the set is established The pre-auction estimate on the set is $50,000+.
The Extended Bidding format trading card portion of the auction ends on Thursday, Nov. 4, with each lot closing individually after 30 minutes of bidding inactivity following the 10 p.m. CST cut-off. The memorabilia will be sold Friday, Nov. 5 in a Live auction format, beginning at 11 a.m. CST, with bidders able to participate in person, by telephone, or online at HA.com/Live.