John Rogers Photo Archive Discovery:
REA 1938 Lou Gehrig Jersey Displayed At Al Schacht’s Restaurant in 1942!
Late yesterday (May 6, 2011) we received an exciting call from John Rogers, owner of John Rogers Photo Archive. For anyone that is not familiar with John Rogers Photo Archives, it is the premier destination for entire newspaper photo archives (which are then digitalized for easier use and access, allowing the originals to be sold). Here is a link: http://johnrogersarchive.com Just a few of the acquisitions of the John Rogers Photo archives include the photo archives of: Chicago Daily News, Chicago Sun Times, The Denver Post, Detroit Free Press, Sport Magazine, Denver Evening Post, and The Sporting News. John has MILLIONS of photos. He explained to us that he just happened to be looking at a group of photos from The Sporting News archives when one photo from 1942 happened to jump out at him because it featured a memorabilia display that included a Lou Gehrig jersey. It was not immediately clear what the display represented, but upon close examination and comparison, it was easy to see that the Lou Gehrig jersey pictured in the photo was the very same as the 1938 Lou Gehrig jersey in the current REA auction! He knew it was a Sporting News photo. With a little research he quickly found that this photo appeared on the cover of the December 10, 1942 edition of The Sporting News in an article celebrating the grand opening of Al Schacht’s famous restaurant in New York. Former ballplayer Al Schacht, of course, was well known as “The Clown Prince of Baseball”. In The Sporting News article, the display case is referred to as “The Wall of Fame” and is identified as “Al’s Collection of Diamond Souvenirs”. Each item was displayed with an identifying index card. In addition to the Lou Gehrig jersey, other items in the display case include Walter Johnson’s glove from the 1924 World Series, Al Schacht’s top hat, Hank Greenberg’s cap, plus others.
Interestingly, the index card identifying the Lou Gehrig Jersey reads “The last uniform worn by Lou Gehrig – World Series- 1939”. Gehrig did not play in the 1939 World Series, but did suit up and sit in the dugout. Is this what the identification refers to? Perhaps the index card was in error, and should have referred to the 1938 World Series? Or could it have possibly been intended to refer to his last game, the game in which he took himself out of the lineup in Detroit? It’s hard to tell but perhaps more research will provide answers. In the meantime, it is fascinating to us that in addition to photo matches (in our opinion) that we have found and provided with Gehrig actually wearing this shirt in 1938 and 1939, that we now have this photo match (in our opinion) of the jersey displayed in Al Schacht’s restaurant, featured on the cover of The Sporting News in 1942. Our great thanks to John Rogers of The John Rogers Photo Archives for discovering and providing this information!
Above: 1942 Sporting News Archive photo discovered by John Rogers
Above: The Sporting News featuring Al Schacht Restaurant Opening (December 10, 1942)
Closeup of Lou Gehrig jersey from Al Schacht’s “Collection of Diamond Souvenirs”
Above: Closeup of 1938 REA Jersey, easily seen to be the very same jersey once displayed at Al Schacht’s restaurant in 1942.
Link to the auction bidding page for the REA 1938 Lou Gehrig jersey Lot #7: