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Historic New York Yankees documents top $3.8m Heritage auction

A sale celebrating the New York Yankees has realized $3.8 million at Heritage Auctions, topping off a remarkable month for the Dallas auction house.
The sale offered a wealth of memorabilia from baseball’s most decorated team, including historic documents, signed baseballs and game-used bats.

Leading the sale was a Lou Gehrig signed New York Yankees player’s contract, which sold for $216,000.

The document dated from 1931, the year in which the Iron Horse delivered perhaps the finest season of his career.

Gehrig led the American League in runs (163), runs batted in (185), hits (211), home runs (46) and total bases (410) – certainly earning the $25,000 salary and $1,000 bonus the contract provided him with.

Another vital document from Yankees history was the original 1992 scouting report on Derek Jeter, who went on to become one of the greatest players to pull on the pinstripes.

Yankees scout Dick Groch filed the report, after watching the 17-year-old shortstop Jeter play at Kalamazoo (MI) Central High School. Groch immediately saw Jeter’s potential, and wrote:

"A Yankee! A five tool player. Will be a ML Star! +5!!"

Jeter went on to set numerous Yankee records, including hits (3,465), doubles (544) and games played (2,747), whilst earning himself five World Series rings and countless awards.

The document that sparked one of the greatest careers in MLB history sold for $102,000, a sum that could seem a bargain in decades to come.

There were also notable results for Yankees team-signed baseballs from 1926 and 1927, which each sold for $120,000; a Mickey Mantle rookie-era game-used bat which fetched $168,000; a Mantle game-used glove from $164,000 which realized $144,000; and a 1946-47 Babe Ruth single-signed baseball which sold for $108,000.

The auction was part of a three-sale series at Heritage, which achieved an overall total of $17.4 million.

"This has been the busiest period in our history," said Chris Ivy, director of Sports Collectibles at Heritage Auctions.

"It’s gratifying to see all that hard work pay off. To see confirmation that the market can absorb this high volume of elite material."

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