Pen and ink on long folded sheet of paper. 36 x 7 in. Presented to Lou Gehrig from the Children of Japan. Fine Provenance: Jeffrey Quick of Whippany, N.J., son of Ruth Martin Quick, a friend of Lou Gehrig. Item #300422
Gehrig barnstormed around Japan in 1934, joined by Babe Ruth, his manager Connie Mack and a dozen other players. Gehrig brought his wife Eleanor, intending the trip to be the first leg of their delayed honeymoon. Gehrig and Ruth were no longer on speaking terms, and an encounter between Eleanor and Ruth involving prodigious amounts of champagne and caviar in the slugger's cabin further cemented the estrangement.
The present letter, written in Japanese and presented to Gehrig from "the children of Japan," is a touching note offering good wishes to Gehrig's mother, with whom he was very close.
Translation of the presentation letter:
Dear Mr. Gehrig:
"I am very happy to learn that you are a good filial son to your Mom. I hear that fact from someone and read about it in a magazine. I like and respect my own Mother very much. So, I would like to give something from Japan to your Mom. I was thinking and thinking, but I could not know what was a good and appropriate gift.After much consideration and thought, I decided it might be good to send your Mom the Nippon Shichi Fukujin or Japan's Seven Lucky Gods. It is close to Christmas — your country. So these Seven Lucky Gods will bring many happinesses to your Mom. This is really a 'tsumaranai mono,' not-so-fine a thing, a trifling thing of no major importance whatsoever. I wish some Japanese person in the US to explain to you about the Seven Lucky Gods. I hope you and your Mom will have a good fortune. I ask the Seven Lucky Gods to bring this gift to you. I am afraid the gift for your Mom is not so fine. Japanese children said to you, Mr. Gehrig, 'yoroshiku' to say 'hello' to you and your Mom. For a long time you have been active and working hard. Please come to Japan again. With your Mom! To have sightseeing. The children of Japan. November."
[With:] 3 books on Japanese culture and tourism from Gehrig's library.
From the collection of Ruth Martin Quick, a former girlfriend of Gehrig who later became a very close friend of Gehrig's mother, Christina. The collection included Gehrig's jersey worn on the 1934 Japan trip (which sold for over $500,000 at auction in 2011), a signed baseball, and other memorabilia.
Price: $2,500.00 Free International Delivery