Lou Gehrig (1903-41) spent his entire career with the New York Yankees, winning everything imaginable during his 17 seasons with the franchise. A six-time World Series Champion with seven All-Star appearances, he’s arguably better known for the disease that caused his early retirement in 1939 and eventually his death.
Lou Gehrig Rookie Year Stats: 126 games | .295 avg | 20 homers | 68 RBIs
The incurable neuromuscular illness is now commonly referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s disease“, although he’s still beloved by any serious Yankees fan.
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Here’s a rundown of the top five Lou Gehrig cards to look for, along with investment advice for the next few years.
Best Baseball Cards
Given his sudden passing, there’s an apparent lack of signed cards from later years, and earlier editions tend to get most of the attention.
Options from the 1930s feature heavily, so we’ll start with one of the best Gherig cards ever to be produced.
1933 Lou Gehrig DeLONG #7
We’ll begin with a precious card for several reasons. The Delong set was the only one to be issued by the company, and they’re seen as some of the rarest from the decade.
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It features a black-and-white die-cut image of Gehrig set against an illustrated stadium backdrop with a bright blue background. His name and team are listed in red on a yellow segment at the bottom. Given the age, it’s no surprise that it’s prone to a range of condition-based issues, such as problems relating to toning and centering.
1933 Lou Gehrig Goudey #160
The 1933 Goudey set has two Gehrig cards, numbered #92 and #160. They’re both seen as his RC for many collectors and have the same design on the front.
There’s an illustration of Gehrig with a bat held aloft, a pale blue background, and a rough red shape for the floor. His name is found at the top, and a ‘Big League Chewing Gum’ logo is found at the bottom. The second card in the set is more expensive, although both are worth a fair amount when looking at higher PSA grades.
1934 Lou Gehrig Goudey #37
Goudey also released a couple of Gehrig cards in ‘34, centering the set around the Yankees legend. They added featured comments from the star for other selected players in the set, and a small image of Gehrig is also found at the bottom of some of the cards.
The first one we’re looking at is #37. The strong yellow background immediately catches the eye, and it’s easy to see how it’s seen as the better of the two 1934 options. There’s an extensive profile shot of a grinning Gehrig, along with a tab at the bottom called ‘Lou Gehrig says…’ as he leaves a comment about himself on the reverse.
1934 Lou Gehrig Goudey #61
Next up from the 1934 Goudey set is the #61 card. The darker background is one obvious difference between the two, and it also has a posed shot of Gehrig with a bat held over his shoulder. It has a ‘Lou Gehrig says…’ segment at the bottom, as he left comments for both cards from the set.
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It’s the more affordable option of the two, although it’s still incredibly valuable in its own right. They’re both some of the more popular Gehrig options you’ll find overall, and they offer a massive aesthetic improvement compared to the 1933 editions.
1951 Lou Gehrig Topps Connie Mack’s All-Stars
The final card on the list takes us out of the 1930s to one of Topps’ first-ever releases in ‘51. This card is part of a team selected by Hall of Fame manager Connie Mack, who picked out the best All-Stars to have ever played the game.
An iconic black-and-white die-cut Gehrig image takes up most of this elongated card, with a deep red background that makes it difficult to find in good condition. A further segment is found below, noting his position, name, and signature.
The Topps branding and the robust design make it one of the better options, especially if you’re looking for an investment piece that doesn’t date back to before WW2.
Lou Gehrig Baseball Card Checklist
- 1928 Exhibits
- 1931 W517 Set Break #35
- 1932 U.S. Caramel #26
- 1933 Lou Gehrig Baseball Card #92
- 1933 Goudey World Wide Gum #55
- 1934 Lou Gehrig Baseball Card Goudey #61
- 1934 Tour of Japan Babe Ruth & Lou Gehrig
- 1935 Lou Gehrig Wheaties Baseball Card
- 1947 Sports Exchange
- 1962 Topps Lou Gehrig & Babe Ruth #140
- 1976 Topps Baseball The Sporting News All-Time All-Stars #341
- 1985 Lou Gehrig Topps Collector’s Choice #14
- 1988 The Sporting News Conlon Collection American All-Stars
- 1993 Upper Deck All-Time Hero’s Lou Gehrig Baseball Card #133
- 2008 Topps Sterling Moments Patch JSY #8SM-19LG22
- 2015 Immaculate Collection Babe Ruth/Lou Gehrig/Ty Cobb
- 2017 Flawless Legendary Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle Jersey
The most expensive Lou Gehrig baseball cards are the 1933 DeLong #7 and the 1934 Goudey #37.
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‘The Iron Horse’ of baseball, Gehrig is now remembered for more than his time with the Yankees. Nonetheless, his record of 2,130 consecutive games lasted for 56 years until Cal Ripken Jr. came along, and he could have kept it up for longer still, had ALS not ripped him away from the sport when he still had so much left to give.
The story makes his earlier cards more valuable, while he’s still seen as one of the best players of his era, along with legends like Babe Ruth.
In terms of investment pieces, even the most worn versions of the 1930s cards are worth low four-figure fees, while anything in better condition is worth a substantial amount. They weren’t made to last, and many were flawed to begin in some way or another.
His top cards continue to slowly creep up in price each year, helped by a lack of options that have achieved a high grade. There’s no reason they shouldn’t maintain their steady rise, although they’re probably best seen as a long-term investment piece to be held onto for as long as possible.