Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    1939 Lou Gehrig Double-Signed Sheet from The Thomas Jacob Archive. One of our favorite pieces from The Thomas Jacob Archive is the handwritten and signed letter from the Iron Horse advising the youngster that he had been selected as American League MVP four times, not twice--the closest thing to a boast that we have ever encountered from the famously humble slugger. You'll find that letter, along with an A.L. MVP sheet signed in quadruplicate by Gehrig, within another lot.

    And while the dying first baseman was technically correct--he did indeed have four MVP trophies to prove it--Jacob had intended to record only those players selected by the Baseball Writers Association of American (BBWAA) and not The Sporting News, which accounted for Gehrig's hardware from 1931 and 1934. Clearly this page represents an aborted attempt to recreate the project as initially intended. Black fountain pen signatures appear only in the proper positions of 1927 and 1936, but Jacob failed to complete the collection of signatures from the balance of honorees afterwards.

    The autographs rate 9/10 and 7/10 respectively, and the single 8.5x11" page exhibits a vertical toning line at center that does not affect the signatures. Full LOA from PSA/DNA.

    The Thomas Jacob Collection of Baseball Centennial Autographs.
    As the nation celebrated its summer holiday with picnics and parades, 61,000 New Yorkers sat in stunned silence. Their great American hero, the self-proclaimed "luckiest man on Earth," was quietly informing them that he had caught "a bad break" and must retire from baseball. Two hundred miles away, a young Boston-area boy named Tom Jacob turned off his radio and planned his next letter.

    He'd mail it two weeks later, on July 18, 1939 explaining to the dying first baseman that he was building a collection of autographs to mark the Baseball Centennial, and requesting that he sign the carefully designed sheet he had created to document the winners of the American League Most Valuable Player Award. He instructed Gehrig to sign in the blanks for the years 1927 and 1936.

    Gehrig would honor the request with not two autographs on the enclosed sheet but four, and a fifth on the back of Tom's returned letter with a handwritten message insisting that he had won four MVP's, not two, and that he had the trophies to prove it. In point of fact, both the youngster and the legendary Yankee were technically correct-Gehrig had also been honored by The Sporting News for seasons that the Baseball Writers Association had made other choices.

    Very few autographs signed by the Iron Horse after his heartbreaking farewell exist in the collecting community, but those rare and important signatures represent just a small portion of the intrigue that this special archive contains. From MVP's to executives, from team sheets to inaugural class Hall of Fame rosters, this remarkable labor of love brings the Centennial season to life unlike any collection we've encountered. It's unquestionably one of the most important autograph archives to surface in the hobby.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2017
    25th-26th Saturday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 17
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 9,315

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    20% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 18 days left to consign to the 2020 June 18 The Henri Nuber PSA Set Registry Collection Auction - Dallas!

    Learn about consigning with us

    Heritage auctions is more than just an auction business. They are in the 'preserving history' business as well.
    Alicia Kramer, Daughter of Jerry Kramer, five-time NFL World Champion,
    Garden City, ID
    View More Testimonials

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search