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Description1939 Lou Gehrig Single Signed Baseball--One of His Very Last Autographs. The triple stars on the Official American League (Harridge) stamping is the key ingredient here, the tell-tale sign that establishes this exceedingly rare single as one of the very last ever autographed by the dying Iron Horse. For years, the hobby had been misinformed about the debut of this stamping format, with most jumping to the reasonable but incorrect conclusion that the change was made in 1940, when this stamping style became standard format for Junior Circuit horsehide. But our authenticators, and our own research, confirm that the first examples surfaced no later than July 11, 1939, when a number of All-Star Game balls were signed on the very field where Gehrig had given his tearful Yankee Stadium farewell a week earlier. The legendary first baseman was likewise on hand for the Midsummer Classic, as honorary captain of the American League, and appears in genuine format on some of those team balls signed that day.
There is no dispute about the rarity of a 1939 Gehrig autograph--never one to seek out the spotlight, the Iron Horse retreated even further into the shadows as his illness progressed, and was all but incapacitated by the start of the new decade. Collectors properly assign a considerable premium to those few Centennial season offerings from the iconic Yankee, and almost none could compete with the presented model, featuring a rare sweet spot application. One could reasonably infer from this placement that Gehrig was reluctantly acknowledging his leading role in the events surrounding the autograph session, quite possibly either his Independence Day "Luckiest Man" farewell or his All-Star team captaincy the following Tuesday. His black fountain pen ink rates 8/10.
Firsts and lasts always demand special attention, and never is this more fitting for a man who built his immortality on a foundation of quiet durability, and the remarkable grace of his exit. Full LOA from PSA/DNA. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication.
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2017 June 29 Premium Sportscard Catalog Auction - Dallas