Lot # 1673: Extremely Significant Lou Gehrig “Rookie-Era” PSA Type 1 Encapsulated Underwood & Underwood Photo – Measures Approx. 7” x 9”

Category: Photos

Starting Bid: $5,000.00

Bids: 24 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
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Item was in Auction "Fall Rarities Auction 2021",
which ran from 9/25/2021 12:00 PM to
10/9/2021 7:00 PM

(LOT 1673)
Extremely Significant Lou Gehrig "Rookie-Era" PSA Type 1 Encapsulated Underwood & Underwood Photo Measures Approx. 7" x 9"

The incomparable legacy of Henry Louis Gehrig can be traced back to his Columbia University playing days where Gehrig dominated as both a standout pitcher and slugging first baseman. Catching the attention of renowned New York Yankee scout Paul Kritchell, on April 28, 1923 Gehrig hit one of the longest home runs ever seen at Columbia's South Field; a mammoth 450-foot blast that sailed completely out of the ball park! One of many Lou Gehrig wallops, it was that particular round-tripper that "sealed the deal" for Kritchell as the prominent scout signed Gehrig to a Yankee contract only two days later. While Gehrig would be called up to the majors before the end of the season, he would see limited time as a pinch hitter in both the 1923 and 1924 seasons, accumulating only 38 official at-bats in those two seasons.

It would be the 1925 season that the "Iron Horse" would enjoy his first breakout season, batting .295 and walloping 20 home runs in nearly 500 plate appearances. Now considered one of the game's fearsome sluggers, Gehrig would now embark on one of the most formidable careers realized by any hitter. Unfortunately, from a collecting perspective, there are few and far between artifacts representing Gehrig's early Yankee playing days; most likely due to his extremely limited playing time his first two seasons. His rookie card wasn't issued until 1925, and only a handful of early photos suffice as classic keepsakes to his Major League origin. One of those rare images just happens to be presented here, a remarkable 1924 Underwood & Underwood original photo depicting Gehrig's immortal batting swing. Deemed a Type I original photo by PSA, the image was issued by the prestigious Underwood & Underwood photography company on March 13, 1924, taken at a New Orleans spring training facility.

The outstanding central batting image portrays Gehrig's legendary swing as he connects on what is most likely another mighty blast; exhibiting outstanding contrast/resolution and remarkably retaining virtually all of its original print attributes. Some stray diagonal wrinkles are evident near the upper corners, and the upper right corner reveals a diminutive chip; however, none of these negligible flaws impede the magnificent central image aesthetics. The final exclamation point is a verso that includes the critical "Underwood & Underwood" stamp and detailed 3/13/24 caption reading as follows: "FORMER COLUMBIA STAR PLAYING WITH THE YANKEESGEHRIG, the $50,000 substitute first sacker of the New York Americans, training with the Yankees at New Orleans. He was a former Columbia varsity star. 3/13/24". Any original collectible of Gehrig is widely sought-after within the collecting community due to his unequivocal legacy, let alone one that stands as one of his earliest known mementos.

Tragically, Gehrig's incredible career was cut short by the deadly "ALS" disease (now more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease) that took his life at the tender age of 37. Yet, with all of his "on the field" accomplishments including 493 round-trippers, a .340 lifetime batting average, and nearly 2,000 RBIs, he will always be best remembered for his 2,130-consecutive game-streak, accounting for his sacred "Iron Horse" nickname. Furthermore, his incomparable farewell "Luckiest Man on The Face of The Earth" speech at Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939 will forever reside as our National Pastime's Gettysburg Address. He was the quiet hero, simply going about his business with a steadfast purpose that the mention of his hallowed name inspires a still tranquility amongst his vast following. Some 82 years after his tragic death, Gehrig is still the recipient of a nation's unconditional love and admiration via his exceptional "on the field" achievements and, more significantly, Gehrig defining the ultimate embodiment of courage. It is for all of these reasons that this breathtaking ROOKIE ERA Type I photo stands as one of the finest testaments to Gehrig's unparalleled legacy, truly residing as one of the grandest "Iron Horse" images extant!

MIN BID $5,000

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