GREAT MEADOWS, N.J., July 28, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- When picking a name that speaks to the term "baseball legend," Lou Gehrig is a common choice. Similarly, when choosing a preferred store-behind-the-door self-defense weapon, a baseball bat frequently serves as a homeowner's choice. But when a Gehrig game-used bat surfaces in the sports memorabilia hobby – particularly one that for decades did, indeed, sit just inside its owner's front door for peace of mind – there is nothing ordinary about it.
New Jersey-based Love of the Game Auctions (LOTG) today announced it has procured a game-used Gehrig bat for its Summer 2015 auction. It is one of fewer than 20 known examples, according to experts, and the only one that has been "photo-matched." As such, this PSA/DNA-certified 1930 Hanna Batrite R2, graded GU 9, represents a rare, historically significant piece that is garnering significant attention.
"This bat was given to the consignor decades ago by a former Yankee Stadium groundskeeper," said LOTG's Al Crisafulli, president of the internet-based sports auction house. "Though the consignor is a Yankee fan, the family had no knowledge of the bat's value, so it was kept behind the front door for protection - for 30 years."
The company established the photo match just two weeks ago. "During my search for a photo to accompany the auction listing, I located a shot from the Chicago Daily News in 1930," explained Crisafulli. "The rights to the photo are managed by the Chicago History Museum, who were very helpful in providing permission to use the photo. When we received the high-resolution image, however, we were unprepared for what we discovered – it appeared that Gehrig was holding the very same bat we had in our possession."
The company contacted PSA/DNA, the authenticator of the bat, and presented them with the photo. After a thorough examination, PSA/DNA established that the photo match was conclusive, and assigned the bat a grade of GU 9, reflecting its provenance and excellent signs of use.
Crisafulli added that the bat was nearly left behind during a move in the early 2000s, and a few years later was almost given to a neighborhood child who liked to play ball. "Really, it is amazing that this outstanding piece of memorabilia made it this far, and its history certainly adds color to the story. But the fact that the bat is the first and only bat we know of that we can conclusively place in Lou Gehrig's hands in a game environment is what makes it historically significant."
Henry Louis Gehrig (1903-1941), a New York Yankees great, is recognized as one of the game's most dominant hitters. His game-used bats rank among the hobby's most valuable for collectors, according to PSA.
LOTG's summer auction closes on Saturday, August 8. The Gehrig bat will share the spotlight with an impressive lineup of featured items including a beautiful 1909-11 T206 near set, a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle graded PSA EX 5, a beautiful selection of higher-grade N173 Old Judge Hall of Famer cabinet cards, and much, much more. For more information, visit www.loveofthegameauctions.com.
SOURCE Love of the Game Auctions