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.