How much would you need to pay for Lou Gehrig's original 1935 signed Yankees player's contract? Universal Rarities recent auction answered that question with a resounding $65,334 (including the 171/2 percent buyer's premium). The contract symbolically ending the Babe Ruth era and was uniquely signed "Henry L. Gehrig," (also signed by Yankee GM Ed Barrow (who additionally signs for team President Jacob Ruppert), as well as A.L. President Will Harridge).The rare item opened at only $10,000 and received 18 bids before closing at the aforementioned price.
It marked the second completed auction for Universal Rarities. The company's first auction ended Sept. 15 and this one ended Dec. 17 and featured more than 1,500 lots.
Another feature item was a Brande Roderick's Ultimate Playboy Experience, which offered Roderick's 2001 Buell Blast Motorcycle from her Playmate of the Year photo shoot. The winner of this lot got to pick up the motorcycle from Roderick at the famed Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills and receive a guided tour by Roderick of the grounds, including the legendary Playboy Grotto. The Ultimate Experience lot sold for $7,622.
There was also a Babe Ruth signed baseball and also signed by the Hollywood comic duo Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, as well as Eddie Collins, George Sisler, Frank Baker, Tris Speaker, Lefty Grove and Walter Johnnson. The lot sold for $18,438 and also included a signed, type-written letter from Ruth that originally accompanied the ball.
Some of the other feature sports items included: Muhammad Ali twice-signed handwritten letter ($891); Muhammad Ali worn 1980 training robe for his fight with Larry Holmes ($4,053); Lance Armstrong race-worn jersey from 2000 Tour de France ($5,268); 1957 Topps Baseball complete set ranging from excellent to near-mint ($4,789); Barry Bonds signed Congressional U.S. flag honorary presentation ($3,957); Ty Cobb handwritten signed letter with excellent content ($3,349); 1992 U.S. Olympic Dream Team signed basketball ($4,053); and a Cal Ripken Jr. 1995 "Record Breaker" game-used and signed jersey (shown, $5,397).
Top history/entertainment items included: Abraham Lincoln 1859 signed bank check ($11,860); Jim Carrey's personal trailer used during the making of "Man on the Moon" ($6,530); Walt Disney vintage-signed letter on Mickey Mouse letterhead ($5,397); a complete concert worn outfit by KISS member Peter Criss from Psycho Circus Tour ($10,143); John Lennon's personal Billboard Award for "Whatever it Takes to Get Through the Night" and "Walls and Bridges" ($10,801); Judy Garland person script for "A Star is Born" from the Sid Luft Collection ($3,045); a shawl worn by Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone with the Wind" ($4,573); a Bert Lahr signed photo as "The Cowardly Lion" from "The Wizard of Oz" ($7,364); Steven Speilberg signed director's agreement for "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1980) ($2,152); "Star Trek: U.S. Enterprise" crew chair from original series ($2,973); and a two-page document detailing the terms when George Lucas hired Steven Speilberg as a consultant for "Star Wars" ($2,703).
Universal Rarities next auction is tentatively scheduled for late April/early May. For more information or for consignment details, call (951) 278-8420 or visit the website at www.universalrarities.com.