A Lou Gehrig Treasure Trove
If part of the romance of baseball has often been romance, along comes one from another era.
This one features Lou Gehrig, a young woman three years his junior he called “Red,” a domineering mother and a surprise ending 80 years later.
The woman was Ruth Martin, a vivacious redhead from Elizabeth, N.J., whom Gehrig apparently dated sometime around 1930.
It was a different time and Gehrig, whose mastery on the field was equaled by his discomfort, particularly with women, off it, was a different kind of athlete. He lived with his parents until he was 30 and was the ultimate outsider from baseball’s raucous atmosphere in the ’20s and ’30s.
Jonathan Eig’s 2005 Gehrig biography, “Luckiest Man,” quotes Mike Gazella, a Yankee infielder: “He was just hopeless. When a woman would ask him for an autograph, he would be absolutely paralyzed with embarrassment.”...
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