Lou Gehrig’s bat has been evaluated by many more resourceful individuals than write on this blog. Extensive coverage comes in part because Gehrig’s bats are scarce, only about 20 are still known to exist. This makes them remarkably collectible and expensive. As such, collectors looking to drop hundreds of thousands of dollars on a bat are more likely to employ significant resources to research Gehrig’s bats. We will consolidate some of their work and summarize it in the following Lou Gehrig’s bat informational page.
|Hanna Batrite||35, 35.5||37.5, 38||AA Gehrig R2, G76||Ash||1930, 1931|
|Louisville Slugger||33.75, 35, 35.5||35.3, 36.5, 37, 40||40K, G69||Ash||1920 – 1929, 1932 – 1939|
What Size Bat Did Lou Gehrig Use?
From the available models at auction houses, Gehrig’s bats were a consistent 35 inches. The weights differ substantially—as is expected from that era. The lightest bat we could locate was just over 35 ounces, the heaviest was at least 40 ounces. Considering Gehrig played with Babe Ruth, who often used a 50+ ounce bat, it is no doubt that Gehrig at least tried bats outside the 35 to 40 ounce range we found.
One source mentions the Louisville Slugger ordering record shows Gehrig’s bat weights declining as he neared retirement. They imply this is due to Lou’s deteriorating condition and Slugger’s attempt to give him the best chance at the plate.
What Was Lou Gehrig’s Bat Model?
All in all, Gehrig used at least four bat brands during his career: Louisivlle Slugger, Kren, Spalding and Hanna Batright. Without a doubt, however, the Louisville Slugger G69 was his favorite model and he used it for the vast majority of his games.
Interestingly, some of this data comes from a lawsuit. In the early 1930’s, Hillerich & Bradsby, the brand owners of Louisville Slugger in the 1930’s, filed a law suit against a bat company called Batright. The claim, as far as we gathered, was Batright’s use of Gehrig’s name on their bat wasn’t legal. During trial, Gehrig claimed he never gave that permission, although, he mentions, he did use the Batright brand of bats for his own personal use. He claims he used the Hanna Batright for two years and Louisville Slugger for the other parts of his career.
In that same testimony, Gehrig claims he used a Spalding bat during some spring training sessions. Additionally, other sources claim he used a KREN wood bat.
Lou Gehrig’s Best At Bat
Gehrig is credited with 493 home runs, yet he actually hit 495 in his too short career. One take back was on June 16th, 1935. Gherig hit a home run off Les Tietje of the St. Louis Browns in the first inning. However, the game was rained out and never made up. As such, Gherig’s home run never counted.
On April 26, 1931 the Yankees played the Washington Senators in Washington at Griffiths’s stadium. In the top of the first, with two outs and a runner on third, Gehrig ripped a line drive into the stands in deep center. The ball hit the grandstands and bounced back into the field where the Washington’s center-fielder caught the ball.
The third base runner, who only observed the center-fielder catching the ball, assumed Gehrig had flied out to center. He never touched home and went directly to the 3rd base dugout. Gehrig, who saw the ball leave the field trotted the base paths. But, as he passed the place the third base runner left the base line, he was called out and credited with a triple instead of his 191st home run.
Lou Gehrig’s Game Used Bat Details
There are no more than 20 game used bats from Lou Gehrig known today. Most are Louisville Slugger—which are much more easily identifiable due to Slugger’s ordering record and Gehrig’s preference for them. The internet is replete with information on Gehrig’s game used bats and we will simply point you to the most fascinating story we read on the matter: The finding of a game used Gehrig Batright.
Lou Gehrig’s Bat Sources
The story on Sports Collectors Daily detailing the BATRIGHT bat identified in a Chicago Tribune article is fascinating. Of course, the bat facts section at PSA Bat is always useful for this era of player. As well, the story of the lost home run found here was used and so was this Gehrig’s stats page.