Humble in his status as perhaps the most dangerous hitter in “Murderers Row,” Lou Gehrig displayed the same reticent demeanor on the field and off of it. This bold Gehrig autograph and handwritten message is ample attestation to the self-effacing star’s class and grace.
As home run totals rose throughout the 1920s, they soared at a meteoric rate in the Bronx. An enterprising young cartoonist-turned-sports writer seized the longball surge and profited immensely (as did his clients in this “ghostwriter” endeavor). We speak, of course, of Christy Walsh, who represented Yankee icons Gehrig and Babe Ruth (among many others) on the printed page, barnstorming tours and financial investments. Genuine in his efforts, Walsh gained trust and close bonds with many of his clients. By all accounts, both Ruth and Gehrig fell into this category. It’s well documented that Ruth was anything but accommodating in Walsh’s early efforts. Only by posing as the bootleg beer delivery boy did Walsh gain access to Ruth’s apartment. Immediately giving his sales pitch, Walsh asked of Ruth’s earnings from his 1921 home run “reports” printed in syndication. Ruth replied, “Five bucks each. What’s it to you?” Walsh replied that he could get Ruth $500 for anything he wrote and, of course, the lifetime friendship began.
Not nearly as standoffish as his more boisterous and famous teammate, Gehrig complied with Walsh’s requests from the start. The frugal, soft-spoken star was grateful for his financial windfall from the Walsh-inspired “Larrupin’ Lous” barnstorming tour and took the time to convey his gratitude. The offered treasure showcases a potent Gehrig endorsement. At the height of both the Yankees’ and Walsh’s success, Gehrig learned of his agent’s son falling ill. In black-ink steel tip fountain pen, Gehrig wrote:
Sincerest wishes for the quickest and healthiest recovery
Encapsulated with Autograph Grade NM-MT 8 by PSA/DNA, the flowing scripting warrants every bit of its lofty technical assessment.