Sports memorabilia is back in the news as a bat used by first baseman, Lou Gehrig in 1938 has sold at auction for $715,120. Gehrig, who was known as the Iron Horse, was a powerhouse baseball player and hitter for the New York Yankees. During his 17-year career with the Yankees, he set many records that stood for decades. A member of “Murderers Row,” he participated in the most consecutive games played (2,130), a record that stood for 56 years and was long considered unbreakable until surpassed by Cal Ripken Jr., in 1995. Gehrig’s consecutive game streak ended on May 2, 1939, when he voluntarily took himself out of the lineup, stunning both players and fans, after his performance on the field became hampered by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, an incurable neuromuscular illness; it is now commonly referred to in North America as “Lou Gehrig’s disease.” The disease forced him to retire at age 36, and was the cause of his death two years later. The pathos of his farewell from baseball was capped off by his iconic 1939 “Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth” speech at Yankee Stadium. In 1969 the Baseball Writers’ Association of America voted Gehrig the greatest first baseman of all time, and he was the leading vote-getter on the MLB All-Century Team chosen by fans in 1999. Gehrig died in 1941. It was reported that Babe Ruth wept openly at his casket.

A film, “The Pride of the Yankees,” was made of Gehrig’s life and career and starred Gary Cooper as the beloved ballplayer and all-around “great guy.” Gehrig’s widow, Eleanor, never remarried. She dedicated the rest of her life to ASL research.

The bat, sold at auction, was a 34-inch, 36 ounce Louisville Slugger that Gehrig used in his final full season with the Yankees. The top bid of $715,120 for the iconic bat took it home was the winner.

My April at the Kane County Flea Market wasn’t stellar. Bad weather on Saturday made for weak sales, but thankfully, Sunday was much better and we moved a great deal of “treasures” for inside the house, while my next door neighbors for the weekend sold a variety of rustic outdoor pieces. I had the honor to meet Stanley, the 13-year-old autistic boy who is a whiz at electronic equipment. Stanley and I became fast friends, but he may have been frustrated with my lack of knowledge of video games. Stanley wanted me to play a game with him and I had to tell him I do not possess any skill with video games. After trying to explain buttons on the game console to me, I got a car going on the track and immediately crashed! Stanley must have figured out that I was telling the truth!

Let’s celebrate National Auctioneers Week, April 26 to May 1! Annually, National Auctioneers Week is the week leading up to the first Saturday in May — National Auctioneers Day. NAA members take part in a week-long promotional campaign that highlights the auction method of marketing. (This information was taken from the NAA website.)

And here’s some listings of interesting auctions coming up in the next couple of weeks.

A two-day, online-only Chic and Antique Estate Treasures auction is slated for April 21st and 22nd by Nye & Company Auctioneers, based in Bloomfield, N.J. Around 600 lots will cross the auction block, starting at 10 a.m. Eastern both days. The catalog caters to the firm’s international audience, be they interested in contemporary design or more traditional collecting categories. Internet bidding will be facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com, Bidsquare.com and the Nye website. If you need additional information about this auction, you may call John Nye or Andrew Holter at 973-984-6900; or, you can email them at john@nyeandcompany.com or andrew@nyeandcompany.com.

Garnavillo Auction Company has a large online only auction that closes on April 21, at 6 p.m. Crockery, curios, spool cabinets; cast iron toys, trains; mission furniture; Rookwood, Roseville, Weller and Van Briggle pottery and much more will be sold. More information about this auction is at (563) 964-9200 or online at www.garnavilloauction.com. Free WiFi in house. Bidding available at Hibid.com.

Duwa’s Auction Service, LLC is holding an auction of items from the Amana Colonies on April 24, at 9 a.m. Included in this auction are primitive furniture; advertising pieces; pocket watches; glassware; linens and more. Two rings will be used at this sale. The auction takes place at Duwa’s Auction Building 1-1/2 miles west of Wellman, Iowa on Hwy. 22. More information at (319) 646-6775 or online at duwasauction.com.

Boldt Auction Co., is offering Part One of a large antiques auction on Saturday, April 24 at 9 a.m. sharp. The second part of the auction takes place on May 8 at 9 a.m. The auction will be held at 606 3rd Street in Traer, Iowa. Items for this auction are from Mary Schendell of Marshalltown. Mary, who is 99 years old has moved into a nursing home and is selling her items that date from the Civil War through the Great Depression years. Included in this gigantic sale will be furniture — settees; sofas; dressers; chairs; armoires and much more. Lamps; crockery; bowls; rustic lamps; railroad lanterns; an organ and more is scheduled to be sold. More information about this auction is with Boldt Auction Co., at (319) 478-2809 or online at www.marvboldtauctions.com.

Have a wonderful couple of weeks shopping, browsing and adding to collections. Our next issue is May 4, and we will again bring a fun, informative and up-to-the-minute issue with articles on the antiques and collectibles market as well as postcards and ephemera. Please keep in mind that we’d love to hear from you about collecting –Auction Action news; club and convention news; mystery items; young collectors, unusual collections and any other antiques-related matters. We can be reached at editor@collectorsjournal.com; meego929@aol.com or via telephone at (319) 472-4763.