NEW YORK — Lou Gehrig's 1931 contract with the New York Yankees has sold at auction for $216,000.
Gehrig played with the Yankees from 1923 to 1939, when he retired while suffering from ALS. He batted .340 with 493 home runs and1995 RBIs, and helped the Yankees win seven World Series titles.
The 1931 contract was part of a Yankees Legends offering by Heritage Auctions that was availabe for bidding through Sunday.
"In addition to Gehrig's offensive statistics, which sent him to the Baseball Hall of Fame on the first available ballot, it was Gehrig's bravery, reliability and quiet strength, which make him a favourite among the Yankee faithful," Chris Ivy, Heritage's director of sports auctions, said Tuesday. "And prices realizedfor memorabilia related to his Yankee career certainly reflect it."
A scouting report on Derek Jeter from April 1992 sold for $102,000. The report was prepared by Yankees scout Dick Groch after he saw Jeter play in a high school game in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In his summation, Groch said about Jeter: "A Yankee! A five tool player. Will be a ML Star! +5!!"
The Yankees, who have won a record 27 world championships, selected Jeter with the sixth overall pick in the 1992 amateur draft. He went on to win Rookie of the Year honours in 1996 and helped the team win the World Series five times in his 20-year career before retiring in 2014.
"Similar to the contract that sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees in 1920 establishing their first championship dynasty, this scouting report brought Jeter to the Yankees, which helped to establish a new championshipdynasty for the current generation," Ivy said.
The bat Gehrig used to hit his last two home runs, in an exhibition game in 1939, was also available, but the bidding did not exceed the reserve price and it was retained by the owner.
Other items that sold in the auction included: a baseball signed by Eddie Plank in 1915 ($228,000); a bat used by Mickey Mantle in his rookie season of 1951 ($168,000) and a glove he used in 1965 ($144,000); and baseballs signed by the Yankees championship teams from 1926 ($120,000) and the 1927 "Murderers Row" edition ($120,000).
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