Lou Gehrig bat sells for $1M at auction

New York Yankees legend used bat for several years dating back to college career

A baseball bat once used by legendary New York Yankees slugger Lou Gehrig has sold to an anonymous buyer for more than $1 million, Heritage Auctions said on Wednesday.

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The game-used bat dates back to Gehrig’s days playing at Columbia University in New York. Gehrig continued to use the 40-ounce bat while playing in the minor leagues for the Hartford Senators and later as a member of the Yankees.

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"It was one of Gehrig’s favorite bats and one he likely used over several seasons,” said Chris Ivy, Heritage’s director of sports auctions. “I believe that it’s the most significant Gehrig bat in the hobby.”

Gehrig’s bat was manufactured by Hillerich & Bradsby, the company behind the famous Louisville Slugger brand. The Baseball Hall of Fame inductee later sent it back to the factory on April 22, 1925, to allow H&B to mass produce duplicates to the same specifications.

The bat bears Gehrig’s name in block letters and saw “heavy use,” according to one of Heritage’s authentication experts. It is one of the earliest known Gehrig bats to hit the market.

The final sale price was $1,025,000. It’s unclear who purchased the bat, which first went up for sale in late February.

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Gehrig won six World Series titles and was twice named the American League’s most valuable player during his MLB career. He retired with 493 career home runs, 1,995 RBIs and a .340 batting average.

He was forced to retire at age 36 due to a bout with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which later became known as “Lou Gehrig’s disease.” Gehrig died in 1941 at just 38 years old.

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