A bat used by the legendary Lou Gehrig during his career with the New York Yankees just found its new owner who splashed out $1,025,000 million at auction last week.
The Dallas-based Heritage Auctions offered the bat in late February as part of its sports online auction. But the bidding price failed to hit the reserve, according to Chris Ivy, director of sports auctions at Heritage.
In the following days, however, an interested buyer emerged who began requesting additional information about the bat. The buyer sealed the deal at $1.025 million this week.
“We had been discussing the bat with [the buyer] over several conversations the last couple weeks,” Chris Ivy, Heritage’s director of sports auctions, told ESPN. “He decided to pull the trigger last week and make the purchase.”
This Gehrig bat’s purchase price far surpassed any in Heritage’s history – the previous high was around $400,000. Ivy said the Hillerich & Bradsby bat, which the Iron Horse reportedly used in college at Colombia University and in his early pro career, was highly coveted because it served as a template for many after it. Upon joining the Yankees in 1924, Gehrig sent the bat back to H&B (the makers of Louisville Slugger) with a request for the company to keep making his bats exactly like it.
“He sent this one back and said, ‘Like the specs, I like the length, I like this weight and I like how this bat was created in the factory,'” Ivy said. “So he sent it back, which is when they dated it on April 22, 1925, and said this is the bat I want you to use to create my future bats.”