Treasure trove of Lou Gehrig memorabilia nets Woodbridge man $500K

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WOODBRIDGE -

A lifelong Yankee fan from Woodbridge has parted with more than $500,000 worth of Lou Gehrig memorabilia -- some which he didn't even know he had.

Bob Ellis received a Yankee cap that was once worn by Lou Gehrig as a Father's Day gift. It sold at an auction for $312,000.

"A guy bids $260,000, and at one point ... I think I was hyperventilating," says Ellis.

Ellis says his mother-in-law was a close friend of the Yankee legend. Before she died, she gifted some more of the memorabilia to them.

But then to their surprise, they found even more in a forgotten box in the attic years later.

"Photographs became really, the valued thing in there because there were over 150 of them, of which, over 120 sold at auction," says Ellis. "All the pictures were deemed original photographs."

Also included were some outfits Gehrig owned and signed checks.

"Looking back now, I don't have any real regrets because if something happened tomorrow, we would've been faced with the same decision last August -- 'what do we do with this stuff?'" says Ellis.

Ellis says the over-$500,000 gross from the auction is going to his grandkids' college fund, despite the fact they are all Red Sox fans. He hopes his contribution to their education might help him change their fandom.

Ellis is a member of the baseball enthusiast group Silver Sluggers, which meets Thursday mornings in the Derby Library.

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