Monday, April 7, 2008

Bidders up: Lou Gehrig's cap goes up for Internet bidding on May 6



Bidders up: Lou Gehrig's cap goes up for Internet bidding on May 6
Sunday, April 6th 2008, 8:17 PM

During a 1939 visit to the Mayo Clinic, where he was diagnosed with the disease that would kill him, Lou Gehrig presented one of his doctors with a gift - a game-worn Yankees cap.
It was a typical gesture by the gracious Gehrig, "The Iron Horse" surrendering his wool cap to Dr. Paul O'Leary. The rare vintage hat with its familiar interlocking "NY" is now going on the auction block.
The cap, worn by Gehrig during his 2,130 consecutive-game streak, comes with a presale estimate of $125,000 - more than triple his top annual salary of $39,000 during his Yankees career.
The hat was most likely presented to O'Leary during the 1939 visit when Gehrig was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. O'Leary continued to treat Gehrig afterward, with the two exchanging letters about his condition.
"You don't need me to tell you that game-worn Gehrig items are extremely hard to come by, and we are proud to offer this relic from one of the all-time Yankee greats," said Chairman Joshua Evans.
The Internet bidding on the hat begins May 6 and runs through June 6 at
The cap, with a hard brim and a nicely worn look, was made by A.G. Spalding & Bros., according to the auction house. It is embroidered inside with the Yankee great's name and hat size: "7 1/8 L. Gehrig."
Gehrig, a two-time American League MVP, delivered the most memorable speech in stadium history after he was diagnosed with ALS, which is now also called Lou Gehrig's Disease.
"Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth," the dying Gehrig told a sold-out crowd on July 4, 1939.
Gehrig had ended his consecutive games played streak just two months earlier; he was dead less than two years later.

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