A 1937 Lou Gehrig road flannel has become the highest priced game worn jersey worn by someone other than Babe Ruth.
Heritage Auctions sold the gray button-down jersey for $2.58 million in the first part of its Summer Platinum Night Auction Saturday night. First sold privately last year, the jersey originally belonged to a family that had received it as a gift from former Yankees general manager George Weiss.
“I can’t say I’m surprised by the pricing, as I have long felt uniforms like this one remain comparatively undervalued, especially if you take the time to actually understand and appreciate what they are and just how rare the chance of ownership is,” said SGC uniform authenticator Dave Grob.
The jersey is particularly prized because the acclaimed player wore the jersey during his last great season. Although Gehrig would play the next full season in 1938, he began to slow down significantly on the field in what fans would later learn was the result of his terminal illness.
It’s the second seven-figure sale of a vintage Yankees gamer this year, coming on the heels of the $5.64 million auction price paid for a 1928-1930 era Ruth jersey sold by Hunt Auctions in June. The Ruth jersey ranks as the most expensive piece of sports memorabilia ever sold at public auction.
“In just over two-months, collectors have spent more than $8 million on SGC authenticated game-worn jerseys,” said SGC CEO Dave Forman. “Ultimately, this means that our expertise continues to be sought-after in an industry where a dedication to accuracy and commitment to excellence is vital.”
The Gehrig jersey was just one of several big-ticket items in the auction. A 1916 Famous & Barr Babe Ruth rookie card rocketed to $504,000. Part of a pre-War stash inherited by a brother and sister in Missouri, the card was graded 6 by PSA and ranks as one of the hobby’s top Ruth rookie issues.
A Carl Horner photo originating from the collection of a close friend of Ty Cobb and mirrored in the two Cobb portrait cards in the T206 card set sold for $396,000.
A jersey attributed to use by former President Barack Obama during his high school days in Hawaii sold for $120,000.
The jersey was the most popular item of the $11 million auction with nearly 13,000 page views and even surpassed the sale price of the only known Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb dual-signed photograph, which sold for $111,000.
Other sales included:
*1956 All-Star Game bat used by Mickey Mantle $384,000
*2002-03 Upper Deck NBA Logo Mania Michael Jordan Logoman Autograph 1/1 $204,000
*1971 Roberto Clemente game bat with World Series use $198,000
*2003-04 Upper Deck Exquisite LeBron James Rookie Patch Autograph #34/99 BGS 8.5 $192,000
*1935 National Chicle Bronko Nagurski PSA 8.5 $174,000
*1939 Play Ball Ted Williams Rookie Card PSA 9 $156,000