Two fascinating documents–one related to Babe Ruth’s off-field activities and the other hand-written by the dying Lou Gehrig–will be part of an auction early next month.
Heritage Auction Galleries’ Sports Collectibles division has released a list of highlighted items in their May 5 auction.
According to auction director Chris Ivy, “Few locations outside of Cooperstown and Canton could match our offices today in terms of quantity and quality of Hall of Fame game used memorabilia. Football is particularly well represented in this auction, though there is certainly something for game used collectors of every discipline.”
Two historic documents, one relating to Babe Ruth and the other to Lou Gehrig highlight the baseball items in the upcoming sale.
"We’re particularly proud of two pieces that speak directly to each legend’s distinct legacy,” said Ivy. “A 1922 signed addendum to Ruth’s New York Yankees contract was Colonel Ruppert’s effort to limit the Babe’s drinking and carousing for which he was famous. And an incredible Lou Gehrig handwritten letter dating two weeks after his ‘Luckiest Man’ speech discusses his illness and his mistaken belief that he would be cured.”
Also included with the Gehrig letter is the original mailing envelope, penned in Gehrig’s hand and postmarked from Cleveland, Ohio, July 17, 1939, the day after the letter was written.
Direct from the Newcomerstown, Ohio area where Cy Young spent the final decades of his life come some artifacts of the Hall of Fame pitcher including a 1908 loving cup presented to the great athlete on “Cy Young Day” and Young’s personal traveling trunk.
Several rare college football items are being offered including an 1872 Yale vs Columbia game program and the first-ever Rose Bowl program from 1902.
“The 1872 Yale vs. Columbia program is believed to be the earliest football program on earth, and the only example in existence. The first Rose Bowl program from the inaugural 1902 game is one of fewer than ten known.”
Heritage also has what it calls the earliest known Notre Dame full uniform, dating to the turn of the century. This is also believed to be the only surviving example.
Jerseys from Roger Staubach and Wayne Gretzky highlight the game-worn portion of the sale as well as Dan Marino’s Super Bowl XIX helmet. A pair of boxing gloves from the Ali-Shavers fight in 1977 are also included in the auction which will be conducted live and on-line.