Before Lou Gehrig became a baseball icon, he was a promising prospect with the Hartford Senators. A fan favorite, he was dubbed “The Eastern Babe,” indicating that he was the Babe Ruth of the Eastern League, in which the Senators competed.
Gehrig would make the permanent jump from the Senators to the Yankees in 1924 (he also had a stint with the Yankees in 1923), but a Gehrig bat dating to a time before he rocketed to full-fledged stardom, is now on the auction block.
Heritage Auctions is offering the bat in its February Platinum Auction, where it could sell for upwards of $1 million. The current bid sits at $320,000 with more than two weeks remaining.
Just 18 days after Gehrig joined the Yankees, he signed an endorsement deal with Hillerich & Bradsby, and all of his bats from that point would come with a facsimile of his signature burnt into the barrel.
The Gehrig bat that is currently up for auction does not feature the facsimile of his signature, making it just one of only two pre-endorsement Gehrig game-used bats in existence.
The bat, which includes the factory’s sidewritten notation on the barrel reading “40 oz., Lou Gehrig, 4-22-25,” indicating it had been sent to Louisville Slugger during the early stages of his first full season with the Yankees. The specs on the bat match up with the bats Gehrig would order from Hillerich & Bradsby during the height of his career. Exactly when Gehrig began using the bat isn’t known.
Per PSA/DNA Authentication, the bat features heavy use, and includes ball marks and cleat divots, which are coated. Remnants of the original shipping label affixed to send the bat back to Louisville for duplication is still visible.
The bat comes with a Letter of Authenticity from PSA/DNA, which rated it GU 10.
Bidding will come to a close on February 22, the first night of the two-part auction.