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Important 1931 Lou Gehrig New York Yankees Professional Model Home Jersey
Important 1931 Lou Gehrig New York Yankees Professional Model Home Jersey
Important 1931 Lou Gehrig New York Yankees Professional Model Home Jersey
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Important 1931 Lou Gehrig New York Yankees Professional Model Home Jersey
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Important 1931 Lou Gehrig New York Yankees Professional Model Home Jersey

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Important 1931 Lou Gehrig New York Yankees Professional Model Home Jersey Presented is a very rare and desirable original home garment as donned by Lou Gehrig during the 1931 New York Yankees home season. Cream color heavy gauge flannel jersey displaying its original blue pinstripes, having A.G. Spalding manufacturer's tagging affixed inside the collar area. Very fine "L.Gehrig" name identification chain stitched in red within the collar, displays beautifully with strong contrast. Body of the jersey exhibits heavy use including some areas of "thinning" to the shoulder areas including a few small portions of surface loss. The buttons are original to the shirt with exception of second button from the top which is a period replacement mentioned for accuracy only. The front of the jersey displays faint vestiges of the lettering "Stanton" from the Minor League team it had been passed to by the Yankees, as customary in the period. Reverse of the jersey displays a period navy blue Yankees "4" which was restored in the outline where the original "4" once resided when Gehrig wore the shirt. Vestiges of a slightly varied "4" are visible underneath, which is likely from Minor League numeral. Top of the back area under the collar also exhibits notable "thinning" including some surface loss. "Fat strap" strip tag and partial straps remain at base of the back area of the shirt. General evident use is visible throughout including typical surface soiling and staining. The areas of thinning were expertly reinforced and the replacement "4" on the back was positioned by the renowned Textile Conservation Workshop in New York. By 1931, Lou Gehrig had emerged from the shadow of Babe Ruth to rightfully assume his position as the finest player in the American League, if not all of baseball. While Ruth remained a dominant figure in the game, and others such as Jimmie Foxx had risen to prominance, the Iron Horse had established himself as an all around offensive force with no equal. Gehrig finished in second place only due to Lefty Grove's impossible season in which he compiled a 31-4 pitching record. During the 1931 campaign Gehrig batted .341 and led the league in four major categories: 163 Runs, 211 Hits, 46 Hone Runs and 185 RBIs. Through examination by Resolution Photomatch in addition to other reviewed images of the period we are able to determine a very substantive and thorough timeline of use for the offered jersey throughout the 1931 season. Gehrig is pictured in a series of images with dating between 4/14-4/16/1931 which picture him wearing a long sleeve jersey having several fairly unique match points with the offered shirt. Subsequently, several other images dated 9/18/1931 show Gehrig wearing the same jersey again with distinct matching features only now having the sleeves shortened from long to short. This photographic documentation provides a detailed corroborative to the well documented occurrence of Gehrig’s preference for shortened sleeves during the warm weather months of the season. The heavy gauge wool jerseys of the period were very difficult to endure during the months of extreme summer heat, leading numerous players of the period to shorten the sleeves to lessen the effects of same. While not precisely an exact photo match there are a number of very specific matching characteristics within the comparative images (and others during the 1931 season) which allow for presentation of this jersey as a likely photo matched exemplar. The documentation of use by Gehrig throughout the entire 1931 season provides additional insight into the heavy usage characteristics of the jersey as well. This particular Gehrig jersey is one of the earliest to have been offered to the public with the majority of the surviving population dating to the mid to late 1930s period. Based on previous sales records and documentation of institutional specimens we believe this jersey to be one of less than four total which date to 1931 or earlier. Very fine and desirable Gehrig jersey dating to the prime of his Hall of Fame career with highly uncommon direct photographic provenance from the entirety of the 1931 season. Includes LOA from MEARS Authentication/Dave Grob (A6) and letter from Resolution Photomatch: VG-EX (With note to conservation).

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Elizabeth Seigel
Elizabeth Seigel Private & Iconic Collections

More From Home Plate: A Private Collection of Important Baseball Memorabilia

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