Lou Gehrig memorabilia from an unexpected source

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A pretty nifty story in the New York Times this morning.  Seems Lou Gehrig had a girlfriend for a brief period in the early 30s prior to marrying his wife Eleanor.  That relationship ended after a brief time for the same reason a lot of Gehrig’s early relationships ended: Gehrig’s domineering mother didn’t approve.

But it seems that the girlfriend — one Ruth Martin — somehow maintained a close relationship with Gehrig’s mother, particularly after Gehrig’s death.  Gehrig’s mother left her a bunch of memorabilia when she died, and when Ruth Martin died, she left it to her now-69-year-old son, who was in some ways treated like a grandson by Gehrig’s mother when he was young.  He’s auctioning it off and it’s expected to net at least a half million bucks. Probably more now that the Times is publicizing it.

It’s neat simply from the memorabilia angle, but it’s far more interesting from the “wow, what a weird relationship” perspective.

Josh Donaldson is still seeking a long-term deal with the Blue Jays

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If it were up to him, Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson would finish the remainder of his career in Toronto. In fact, he’d be “ticked pink” if the club decided to sign him to a long-term deal. Whether the Blue Jays share that sentiment is still unclear, as Donaldson said Saturday that the team has yet to engage his agent in extension talks.

“I’ve said that I wanted to be here,” he told MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm. “That’s pretty much all I can say. I’m not the one who makes the decisions, nor would I try to put them in the position to do that. Like I said, I believe the situation will become more fluid when the time is right.”

That doesn’t necessarily mean an extension is out of the question. The Blue Jays reached an unprecedented one-year, $23 million agreement with the three-time All-Star in arbitration, and have been reticent to field trade offers despite continued interest from the Cardinals this winter.

Donaldson, 32, is poised to enter his eighth season in the majors and fourth with the Blue Jays. In 2017, he batted .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs and a .944 OPS in 496 plate appearances, ranking sixth among all major league third baseman with 5.0 fWAR. He’s scheduled to enter free agency following the 2018 season.