Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    The last complete season for the noble Iron Horse

    1938 Lou Gehrig Signed New York Yankees Player's Contract, PSA/DNA Gem Mint 10. "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. Barrow also adds Gehrig's "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 center fielder 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.

    Guide Value or Estimate: $200,000 - up.

    Auction Info

    Proxy Bidding Ends
    27th Saturday 10:00 pm CT
    Auction Dates
    27th-28th Saturday-Sunday
    Proxy Bidding Time Remaining
    1 Day 2h 36m 59s
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 13
    Lot Tracking Activity: 47
    Page Views: 632

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

    This lot is in: 1 - Signature Internet Extended Bid Session - Extended Bidding - Platinum Session:
    (Lots 80001-80142) - 10:00 PM Central Time, Saturday, February 27, 2021.
    (Normal bidding closes and extended bidding begins at 10:00 PM Central Time the evening of the session. Details below.)

    Show All Session Information

    Show Auction Type Info

    Exhibition Viewing Times, Title Page, Floor Session and License Information

    Additional Location Info:
    Heritage Auctions
    2801 W. Airport Freeway
    Dallas, TX 75261

    Current Bid:
    w/ Buyer's Premium (BP) : $102,000.00 Minimum Next Bid: $87,500 ($105,000.00 w/ BP)
    Track Item