Lou Gehrig Watch Draws $340,000; Johnny Manziel Jersey Not SoldMason Levinson
Lou Gehrig’s 1928 championship wristwatch sold for $340,000, while an auction for Johnny Manziel’s Heisman Trophy season game-worn home jersey failed to meets its reserve price and wasn’t sold.
Bidding on the watch, given to the Baseball Hall of Famer for the New York Yankees on opening day of the 1929 season, reached $305,000 but initially failed to meet its reserve price in an online auction conducted by SCP Auctions Inc. that closed Aug. 23. The highest bidder, who asked to remain anonymous, agreed to the $340,000 price yesterday, the auction house said in a news release. SCP initially estimated the value at $300,000.
Both the seller and the auction house also agreed to make donations to their local ALS Association chapters in honor of Gehrig, who died of the disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in 1941. The neurodegenerative disease later became known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Nicknamed the “Iron Horse,” Gehrig’s 2,130 consecutive games played stood as a record until being broken by Cal Ripken Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles in 1995.
The price paid was among the highest for a piece of Gehrig memorabilia, SCP said. In 2011, the auction house sold a bat that Gehrig used to hit his final home run with the Yankees during a 1939 spring training game for $403,664.
The watch, engraved with “Henry L. Gehrig” on its side and “Yankees 1928 World Champions” on its back, was given by Gehrig’s mother, Christina, to family friend Ruth Quick upon Christina Gehrig’s death in 1954. It had remained in the Quick family since.
“As for the Manziel jersey, it got as high as $42,500, but was still pretty far from hitting its reserve price,” Terry Melia, a spokesman for Laguna Niguel, California-based SCP, said in an e-mail.
The signed maroon Manziel No. 2 jersey is the one he wore during home games in 2012, when he became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy as college football’s best player. Manziel, nicknamed “Johnny Football,” was selected with the No. 22 pick of the National Football League draft in May by the Cleveland Browns. He’ll begin his career as the backup to Brian Hoyer.
SCP initially said the jersey had the potential to command a $100,000 sale price.
(Earlier versions of this story corrected Manziel’s freshman status in 2012 in next-to-last paragraph and the donors to the ALS Association in third paragraph.)