Skip to main content

Gehrig's 1935 player contract, trip to Playboy Man

Editor Input Needed
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

On the heels of an impressive debut auction, Universal Rarities returns again with more than 1,500 lots of choice memorabilia in the holiday edition of “The Autographs Collectibles & Memorabilia Auction” on Dec. 16.

Nearly doubling the lot count from their previous auction offering, Universal Rarities Auction Director Jeff Woolf asserts that this sale will be one of the largest and most diverse auctions of the holiday season. “We’re excited not only about the quality of our December sale, but the unique variety of material we’ve gathered. Whether the interest is sports, Hollywood, history, music or even rare coins, we feel we’ve generated an auction that truly appeals to all interests in the collectible spectrum.”

Auction highlights include:

• Lou Gehrig’s original 1935 Yankee players’ contract. Giving Gehrig the reins to the Yankee Dynasty and symbolically ending the Babe Ruth era, the four-page contract outlines all aspects of Gehrig’s employment for the season, with Gehrig receiving a salary of $31,000 for the year. Boldly and uniquely signed “Henry L. Gehrig,” the contract has also been signed by Yankee GM Ed Barrow (who additionally signs for team President Jacob Ruppert), as well as A.L. President Will Harridge. Gehrig contracts have gained tremendous momentum in the past year, with Gehrig’s 1936 contract selling for more than $100,000 last December.

• Brande Roderick’s Ultimate Playboy Experience. Direct from Playboy’s 2001 Playmate of the Year, offered is Roderick’s 2001 Buell Blast Motorcycle from her Playmate of the Year photo shoot. The very lucky winner of this lot will pick up the motorcycle from Roderick at the famed Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills, where they will receive a guided tour by Roderick of the grounds, including the legendary Playboy Grotto.

• An original black shawl worn by Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’ Hara in the 1939 classic, “Gone With The Wind.” Acquired directly from the MGM prop liquidation company, the shawl is one of only three used by Leigh during filming and is prominently featured in the film.

• A sensational Babe Ruth lot featuring a one-of-a-kind baseball signed by The Bambino, legendary Hollywood comic duo Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, Eddie Collins, George Sisler, Frank Baker, Tris Speaker, Lefty Grove and Walter Johnson. Included with the baseball is a letter of correspondence from Ruth which originally accompanied the baseball, featuring a pristine Ruth signature.

• An exceedingly rare, signed bank check from Abraham Lincoln, dated April 16, 1859.

• KISS: Peter Criss’ complete concert outfit from the 1998-2000 Psycho Circus Tour previously in Butterfield’s KISS Auction).

• John Lennon’s personal Billboard Award for “Whatever Gets you Thru the Night” and “Walls and Bridges” (1974), with extensive photographic documentation.

• Cal Ripken Jr. signed, game-used jersey from the record-breaking 1995 baseball season.

• Walt Disney very early 1936 signed letter on desirable Mickey Mouse letterhead.

• Bert Lahr scarce, signed 8-by-10-inch photograph as The Cowardly Lion from “The Wizard of Oz.”

Anyone interested in participating in this sale can do so by logging on to the company’s auction website,, where they can view all lots in the sale as well as register for bidding. In addition to the website, a full-color catalog for the auction is available.

“There’s a lot of diversity from Gehrig’s contract to the Playboy Mansion experience to Scarlett O’Hara’s shawl,” said Woolf. “That was the theme of our last auction and that’s what we want to accomplish.”

Universal Rarities is already tentatively planning four auctions next year, with March, June, September and December auctions on the 2006 calendar. The consignment deadline for the March 17 auction is January 18.

For additional information and copies of the auction catalog ($5 each), contact Universal Rarities, 512 South Corona Mall, Corona, CA 92879. Phone:

1-800-270-RARE. Fax: 951-278-1655. Web: Email: