Lot # 7: Henry Louis Gehrig Signed Payroll Bonus Check – Includes Signatures from Ed Barrow & Jacob Ruppert - Dated June September 25, 1930 – PSA Encapsulation Authentic

Category: Cancelled Checks

Starting Bid: $5,000.00

Bids: 14 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
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This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Summer 2022 Auction",
which ran from 8/18/2022 12:00 PM to
9/10/2022 7:00 PM




(LOT 7)
Henry Louis Gehrig Signed Payroll Bonus Check - Includes Signatures from Ed Barrow & Jacob Ruppert - Dated June September 25, 1930 PSA Encapsulation Authentic

Signed Lou Gehrig artifacts continue to reside as one of the hobby's premier collectibles, with an endorsed Gehrig payroll check easily standing tall as one of his pinnacle scripted mementos. Issued to Lou Gehrig on a bi-monthly basis, these payroll checks seldom surface for the taking, with their utmost desirability stemming from the fact that they typically include a "Henry Louis Gehrig" full name script on the verso. Presented here just happens to be one of those extremely scarce Lou Gehrig payroll checks, a remarkable September 25, 1930 heirloom that represents a $833.33 bonus payment to Lou for having just signed a three-year contract. Most significant is the solid "8 strength" black fountain pen "Henry Louis Gehrig" scripted endorsement on the check's verso, with the bank cancellation holes only impeding a negligible portion of the lower "H" in "Henry." Indeed, the remaining signature is completely intact, with most of the few surviving Gehrig payroll checks reflecting a serious number of bank punch holes compromising the hallowed Henry Louis Gehrig signature.

Of particular interest, Gehrig's 3-year contract for 1928-1930 paid the slugging first baseman $25,000 per year ($75,000 in total) or a $17,000 per year raise (212.5% increase) over the Iron Horse's 1927 salary of only $8,000! Unfortunately for Lou, his new contract would not see the incomparable first sacker be awarded a raise, with his 1930 campaign's 41 dingers, an A.L. leading 173 runs batted in, .379 batting average and incredible 1.194 OPS only securing an additional three years of $25,000 per year. Underpaid to say the least, Babe Ruth would receive a whopping $80,000 per year salary for the 1930 and 1931 seasons, more than the President of the United States was being paid, and a staggering $55,000 or 220% per year more than his beloved Gehrig teammate. It was always said that the immortal Gehrig was overshadowed by Ruth during the entire time they played together, and this immense salary disparity certainly substantiates that notion. At this juncture, Gehrig was producing virtually the same power numbers as Ruth, yet shockingly, his compensation continued to fall significantly short of his batting achievements due to the penny-pinching ways of Yankees owner Colonel Jacob Ruppert.

The check itself has eluded any typical tears and/or glaring surface flaws, with its original perforated dimensions completely intact. In customary fashion, it has been signed by legendary Yankees team Owner/President Colonel Jacob Ruppert in the lower right section as well as General Manager Ed Barrow in the ''Counter-signed" left region. Similar to most N.Y. Yankees payroll checks, the salary will be drawn from the Manufacturing Trust Company, with the verso revealing the aforementioned "Henry Louis Gehrig" endorsement signature penned in standard black fountain pen. Directly above Gehrig's sanctified signature is a typed notation indicating the $833.33 paid bonus amount, clearly stating "Balance in full of bonus for signing three (3) year contract." While Gehrig's salary would eventually increase throughout the 1930's, ranging between $30,000 - $39,000 per season, it would never even remotely approach the staggering compensation being paid to his illustrious teammate George Herman Ruth.

Although Gehrig was earning less than half of the Babe's salary, by 1933, he would far surpass the aging Ruth in offensive production, ultimately capturing the American League "Triple Crown" in 1934 by leading the Junior Circuit in Home Runs (49), RBI's (166) and Batting Average (.363). Yet, as imposing as his statistical achievements truly were, he will always be best remembered for his miraculous 2,130 consecutive game streak that ended on May 2, 1939 due to the ill effects of the tragic ALS disease, ultimately claiming his life at the tender age of 37. It was the Iron Horses' iconic "Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth" farewell speech in front of a Yankee Stadium packed house on July 4, 1939 that will forever stand as baseball's "Gettysburg Address", with not a dry eye in the stadium that momentous day. For all of his world-class achievements and beloved persona, the "Yankee Captain" will forever stand as one of our National Pastime's foremost immortals, with this "unique" September 25, 1930 endorsed payroll check depicting the ever-elusive "Henry Louis Gehrig" script and sufficing as one of Lou's most revered heirlooms!

MIN BID $5,000

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