Despite the latest sports memorabilia industry soap opera, there were plenty of ‘feel good stories’ this past weekend.
MLB honored the 70th anniversary of Lou Gehrig’s farewell speech and the moment set the tone. The Iron Horse seemed to be honored in spirit all weekend judging by some of the stories I ran across.
- Baseball memorabilia collector James Ancel opened his collection to an ESPN "Outside the Lines" show and the network published some very poignant letters written to and from Gehrig by his doctor and friend at the Mayo Clinic after his ALS diagnosis. It’s sad and fascinating at the same time.
- Players throughout baseball wore ALS patches and bases carried a special logo. Many of the items will be sold in a fundraising auction.
- The Cincinnati Reds honored Gehrig and players were even able to get their hands on a game-used Gehrig bat which they "took turns holding like it was some sacred relic, getting their pictures made with it," according to a story in the Louisville Courier-Journal.
- Jason Giambi revealed himself as a collector. The man who got the final hit at the old Yankee Stadium, also owns a Gehrig game-worn jersey. Giambi has also made friends with the Mantle family and has gotten some special pieces from Mickey’s boys, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
- Jason Grilli might be the biggest Nolan Ryan fan playing in the big leagues. He told MLB.com that he used to pitch youth league games with a Ryan baseball card in his pocket and had pictures all over his bedroom wall. He even took "Nolan" as his confirmation name, but revealed to MLB.com that he hasn’t yet met the Hall of Fame pitcher, even though the two once shared an elevator for a moment.
- Adam Dunn hit career home run #300, but don’t look for it on eBay. It was caught by a U.S. Army colonel who gave it back to Dunn. He didn’t ask for anything, but William Sanders got a signed Dunn jersey and some other prizes for his catch. Now there’s a switch.