On the field, Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig (1903-1941) is arguably best known for playing in 2,130 consecutive games for the Yankees. It was a record that stood for 56 years.
His streak was snapped unexpectedly when he was forced to remove himself from the lineup in 1939. It turned out to be amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which is now better known as “Lou Gehrig’s disease” in North America. He died two years later.
Here’s a roundup with five of the best Lou Gehrig rookie baseball cards to collect.
The Best Lou Gehrig Rookie Cards
We’ve looked at numerous vintage sets to bring you this list of the best Lou Gehrig rookie cards. Given the age, the prices, and the many reprints on the market, we’d stick with graded versions whenever it’s possible to do so.
5. 1933 DeLong Lou Gehrig #7 (eBay)
1933 DeLong Baseball was the only set ever produced by the company, pitted against a collection released in the same year by Goudey. It features a die-cut black-and-white action shot of Gehrig in a batting pose, with a colorful illustrated stadium making up the backdrop.
The Gehrig card is the key to the DeLong set, which has a checklist of just 24 cards.
4. 1929-1930 Exhibits Four-On-One Mark Koenig, Babe Ruth, Leo Durocher, Lou Gehrig (eBay)
Produced by the Chicago-based Exhibit Supply Company, this quad card features the New York Yankees, with Mark Koenig, Babe Ruth, Leo Durocher, and Lou Gehrig making the cut.
The addition of the Sultan of Swat is a major factor for collectors, while it was originally meant to be used as a postcard. (This can be seen when checking out the reverse.)
1929-1930 Exhibits can be found with a variety of color combinations.
3. 1932 U.S. Caramel Lou Gehrig #26 (eBay)
Another classic vintage release, 1932 U.S. Caramel contains a Gehrig card that many collectors consider to be his true RC. One issue is that many were sent back to the company, as they could be redeemed for baseball equipment.
(U.S. Caramels released a collection of 32 cards as part of a contest where they could be sent in a complete set for a prize.)
The addition of a bright red background and a colored image make it one of the more striking options from the 1930s.
2. 1925 Exhibits Lou Gehrig (eBay)
Old enough not to include his nickname, the 1925 Exhibits set contains a captivating full-bleed image of the player in a batting pose.
The earliest Lou Gehrig rookie baseball card to make the list by several years, it has a small box for his name and team on the bottom left corner.
Listed as ‘Henry L. Gehrig’, the set was released too early to find anything on the reverse. It’s still an underrated collectible.
1. 1933 Goudey Lou Gehrig RC #92, #160 (eBay)
The 1933 Goudey set is popular thanks to four options featuring Babe Ruth. It also contains a duo of Lou Gehrig rookie cards, although they feature the same illustration.
It’s another simple card, showing Gehrig in a batting pose. There’s scant background detail, with a red square used for the floor. There’s a ‘Big League Chewing Gum’ label at the bottom.
The card numbered #160 is tougher to locate, so it sells for a premium price in comparison.
Lou Gehrig Rookie Card: Buyers Guide
What do we think of the current state of the market for Lou Gehrig rookie cards?
There aren’t many cheap Lou Gehrig rookie cards on the market, unless you’re looking at reprints. Another issue is that his career was cut short, so you won’t find many signed editions.
It’s hard to look past 1933 Goudey if you’re aiming to identify the best Lou Gehrig rookie card for investment purposes. It has a memorable design, and it’s one of the more iconic sets within the hobby.
There aren’t many safer options than Lou Gehrig if you’re looking at the best baseball cards to collect.
They’re some of the more valuable cards ever produced, featuring the first player ever to have his number retired.
However, one obvious barrier is the asking price for Gehrig RCs, which is likely to be a bit too high for the average collector.
As is typically the case with legendary cards and players, demand continues to exceed the limited supply.