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.

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.