Skip to main content

Lou Gehrig Collection, historic bats lead Heritage Auctions Platinum Night Catalog

Heritage Auctions’ Platinum Night February sale is loaded with memorabilia from the family of Lou Gehrig, as well as historic bats, one from Babe Ruth.

Heritage Auctions’ Platinum Night sales have a long history as the most dangerous threat to standing world record prices, and experts expect more to fall: No fewer than 17 lots are expected to record prices of six or seven figures. Bidding is now open for the sale which will close in Extended Bidding format, Feb. 23-24 on

Image placeholder title

“In both value and lot total, this is our largest Platinum Night event to date,” said Chris Ivy, director of Sports Auctions for Heritage. “Every consignor in the hobby knows that this is the auction no serious collector can miss.”

The Lou Gehrig Collection will provide a thrilling assortment of the Hall of Fame first baseman’s personal treasure trove of memorabilia, including a game worn cap (est. $200,000-up), multiple signed documents, and the earliest known photograph of the “Iron Horse” as a child (est. $10,000-up). The collection comes with rock-solid provenance, consigned by the family, which received a portion of the Gehrig family estate after the death of Lou’s mother, Christina,

Historic game-used bats are likely to rank among the sale’s top results, with Babe Ruth’s first home run bat of the 1924 season (est. $2 million-up), one of the most extensively documented Ruth gamers in the hobby. This bat, like the one with which Ruth hit his first home run the season before, was presented as an award to a top Los Angeles-area high school baseball player. Perhaps even more historic is the bat with which Pete Rose surpassed Ty Cobb for sole ownership of the career hits record, number 4,192 (est. $600,000-up).

Image placeholder title

The greatest of the diamond makes room for the “greatest of the squared circle” with a pair of robes worn by Muhammad Ali in his most historic bouts: his controversial “Phantom Punch” knockout of Sonny Liston (est. $150,000-up) in the 1965 rematch, and his first meeting with Joe Frazier (est. $1 million-up), the celebrated, “Fight of the Century.”

The most impressive and extensive supply of Platinum Night trading cards includes a near-set of autographed 1933 Goudeys, a 1910 Old Mill Joe Jackson (est. $300,000-up), multiple examples of the 1952 Topps Mantle (est. $400,000 to $60,000, based on grade) and a vast expanse of unopened wax and cello (est. $80,000-up).

Other highlights include:

• A 1889 Cap Anson and Buck Ewing “Burke Ale” Beer Advertising Poster, looking as fresh as the day it came of the press (est. $150,000-up)

• 1903 Breisch-Williams E107 Christy Mathewson rookie, SGC 50 VG/EX 4 (est. $150,000-up)

• The highest-graded Boston Garter known: a 1914 Boston Garter Joe Jackson, SGC 70 EX+ 5.5 (est. $200,000-up)

• A rare team signed 1927 New York Yankees photograph (est. $250,000-up)

• Babe Ruth’s 1933 final career pitched baseball, signed by Ruth, Gehrig and last out victim George Stumpf (est. $30,000-up)

• A fresh hobby find: a 1959 Topps Baseball (4th Series) Cello Box, with 36 unopened packs (est. $50,000-up)

• A 1961-62 Fleer Basketball Wax Box, with 24 unopened packs (est. $80,000-up)

• A 1990 Super Bowl XXV player format Lombardi Trophy presented to New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor (est. $40,000-up).