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    "Then Mr. Gehrig is a badly underpaid player."

    --Joe DiMaggio in 1938 contract negotiations

    1938 Lou Gehrig Signed New York Yankees Player's Contract, PSA/DNA Gem Mint 10.

    UPDATE: Please note that Ed Barrow's initials appear beside his secretarial Ruppert signature, and the words "Larchmont, NY" are in Barrow's hand, not Gehrig's.

    "I tired mid-season," Lou Gehrig admitted after the New York Yankees claimed the sixth World Championship of his remarkable, unflappable tenure. "I don't know why, but I just couldn't get going again." Though the Iron Horse had posted a stat line worthy of his seventh All-Star appearance in 1938--.295 average, 114 runs batted in and twenty-nine home runs--the figures were a significant drop from his 1937 campaign, and the first sign that a terrible illness had begun work on its fatal task. But the legendary first baseman had bravely soldiered on, completing his thirteenth complete regular season without an absence to play all four games of a World Series sweep of the Chicago Cubs. Gehrig went four-for-fourteen that October, each hit a single.

    It has been said that only in adversity can we find true greatness, and it was during that difficult 1938 season that Lou Gehrig most convincingly exhibited his own. While he is properly remembered as one of the premier sluggers in the history of the game, Gehrig's greatest legacy remains his unbreakable will, his unfailing dependability. This remarkable relic from the 1938 season speaks to that strength of character as well as any we have encountered.

    This is the covenant that represents the Iron Horse's final full year of unbroken attendance before merciless progression of his namesake illness snapped his fabled streak early in the 1939 season. It's the standard format used for decades in the Majors, four pages bearing typed Gehrig identifiers and his $39,000 salary on page one, and signatures from Hall of Fame team owner Jacob Ruppert (secretarially signed by Ed Barrow) and Gehrig himself on page two. Gehrig also adds his "Larchmont, N.Y." hometown in the same perfect black fountain pen ink.

    Students of Yankee history will observe the stamped date of "Mar 10 1938" and recall that this spring training period saw Ruppert battling his young centerfielder Joe DiMaggio in his famous hold-out over salary negotiations. The Clipper's request for $40,000 was met with Ed Barrow's objection that not even their stalwart first baseman Lou Gehrig was paid that much.

    "Then Mr. Gehrig is a badly underpaid player," came DiMaggio's reply.

    The contract presents with only original storage folds to report in terms of condition caveats. The signatures themselves merit the unimprovable grade assigned by the hobby's leading autograph experts. Full Grading LOA from PSA/DNA, Gem Mint 10.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2020
    22nd-23rd Saturday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 15
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