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    Description

    1939 World Series Program Signed by Both Teams including Gehrig. While the heroic Yankee first baseman's "Luckiest Man" farewell speech on July 4th of this year marked Gehrig's official retirement from the game, it's well known that he continued to suit up and act as team captain through the remainder of the '39 season. That being the case, it is still exceptionally rare to find a Gehrig autograph on anything from 1939. Only a handful of 1939 team balls, for example, offer a genuine Lou, with the vast majority bearing a sweet spot clubhouse signature instead. The few examples bucking this trend tend to date from very early in the season, before the heartbreaking diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ended any hope that Gehrig was just in a temporary slump. This Yankee Stadium 1939 World Series program, fittingly honoring the great Hall of Famer on the cover, is absolutely the only such specimen we've seen to boast this essential signature, and it's one of the latest autographs from Gehrig in any format you are likely to find.

    The blue fountain pen signature finds its home on the small photographic portrait of Gehrig leading off the Yanks' roster page. It's quite moving to find it beside the biographical text that reads in part, "Stricken by an illness which has chained him to the bench after setting an all-time record of 2,130 consecutive games, Gehrig has, by his cheerful manner in the face of personal tragedy, inspired the Yankees to greater heights." Joining him on the following pages are his pinstriped brethren, including Russo, Schulte, Jorgens, Knickerbocker, Ruffing, Gomez, Pearson and Murphy.

    We then flip a few pages past the unmarked score sheets to arrive at the Cincinnati Reds pages, which offer an even more complete assembly of players, most notably Bucky Walters, Ernie Lombardi and the very tough Willard Hershberger, who would take his own life in a hotel room during the following baseball season, distraught over his recent poor play. Twelve Reds have signed in all. Two more Hall of Famers round out the collection of autographs held within the pages of the program, that of National League president Ford Frick, and Bill McKechnie, manager of the Reds.

    Though this scarce artifact would carry tremendous collecting appeal in any condition, we are pleased to announce that the program is in simply fantastic shape, with no noteworthy stains, tears or creasing. It remains solid and complete, looking much as it did that October day in the Bronx. The autographs themselves, Gehrig's included, are similarly fine, mellowed only slightly through the passing decades to a conservative 8/10 average. LOA from Steve Grad & Zach Rullo/ PSA DNA.


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    Auction Dates
    May, 2005
    14th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 345

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