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Lou Gehrig Handwritten Letter with Original Envelope and Photo
Starting Bid - $500.00 , Sold For - $2,115.00
Magnificently framed display comprised of a Lou Gehrig handwritten letter to Alice Barrett, whom he dated for several years in the early 1930s, the envelope in which it was found (inscribed by Gehrig), and an original photo of Gehrig and Barrett posing together during one of their dates at an ice skating rink. Ideally, each of these items originates directly from Barrett’s estate and was discovered, along with a number of other Gehrig signed pieces, by her nephew in 2000. The short note, written in pencil upon an unlined sheet of paper, is undated and reads “Alice:- Sorry to disappoint you today but it is my duty to attend Mr’s Shawkey funeral services – Can you call at 6:30 tonight. Lou.” Both the text and signature are boldly scripted and graded “9.” The accompanying envelope also bears Gehrig’s handwriting on the front, where he has written her name, “Alice B. Barrett,” in pencil. The 8 x 10-inch black-and-white photograph pictures the happy couple holding hands as the pose together at an ice skating rink. The relationship between Barrett and Gehrig is well documented and in Jonathan Eig’s extensively researched biography of Gehrig, titled Luckiest Man , he even makes mention of the offered photo: “Alice Barrett was dark-haired, slender, and smart. She could have been a movie star with those big eyes and that tantalizing smile. In a college production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night , she had played the part of Olivia. Gehrig had met Barrett in 1930, when she was a freshman. They had dated on and off for several years. Once, he took her ice skating at an indoor rink. He dressed like a college professor, in dark slacks, a white shirt, a bow tie, and a cardigan sweater. She looked like an angel, in a long, dark coat with white lapels that flapped like downy wings as she skated. In a picture taken that day at the rink, they’re holding hands and smiling, looking every bit like a young couple in love.” Unfortunately for Gehrig, his relationship with Barrett, like those before it, withered under the scrutiny of his domineering mother. As Eig further writes: “They were still together in the spring of 1931, it would seem, when Alice attended the season opener at Yankee Stadium. She showed up for another game five days later. But Gehrig’s mother eventually wrecked the relationship with Alice, just as she wrecked the others. Gehrig wasn’t happy about this, but he apparently felt so beholden that he wouldn’t challenge his mother’s judgment.” Interestingly, although Gehrig stopped dating Barrett, they remained friends for the rest of his life and Barrett even corresponded with Gehrig’s mother after his death. Included among Barrett’s personal effects discovered in 2000 were an additional letter and postcard from Gehrig, Christmas cards from Gehrig and his wife, letters and Christmas cards from Gehrig’s mother, a scrapbook, and a 1930 Yankees team-signed ball. Both the letter (5 x 6.5 inches) and envelope (5.25 x 3 inches) are in Excellent condition. The photo is in Very Good to Excellent condition. Total dimensions: 14.5 x 27.25 inches. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$1,500. SOLD FOR $2,115.00
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