Lot 346: 1939 Lou Gehrig Day Signed Photograph
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Auction Date:12/16/2011 9:00 PM EST
"Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth." Lou Gehrig, one of the greatest players in baseball history, uttered those famous words on July 4, 1939 at Yankee Stadium. The day was dubbed "Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day," and it served as a final farewell for the Iron Horse to the Yankee faithful. Gehrig had been diagnosed with ALS (a disease that would come to be known as "Lou Gehrig's Disease"), and had less than three years to live. Lou closed his speech that day with a line that still resonates today: "So I close in saying that I might have been given a bad break, but I've got an awful lot to live for." This photo captures Gehrig just before addressing the crowd in New York that day. It is a rare and desirable artifact. An original print from 1939, this is believed to be the first and only signed version of this famous photograph in existence. Gehrig signatures following his diagnosis in 1939 up to the time of his passing are very, very rare. The photo has undergone professional restoration and appears VG with some creases evident. It was dated at the top in pen but the ink has faded. The signature is 100% original and unaltered. It rates 7/10 in black fountain ink. Signed "To Patsy, With Kindest Personal Regards, Cordially, Lou Gehrig". A truly historical piece, the photo and white frame measure 11.5x14". PSA LOA.
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