Lou Gehrig Baseball Legend: This Week's Focus at LiveAuctionTalk.com

Rosemary McKittrick is a storyteller. Her weekly art, antiques and collectibles column is chock-full of interesting and useful information.

Santa Fe, Sept. 20, 2009 - Lou Gehrig was probably the most underestimated baseball player of his generation.

Gehrig's boldness and stamina showed up when push came to shove on the baseball diamond.

In his 14 years at first base Gehrig never missed a ballgame, 2,130 consecutive games. He played with sore arms, fevers, stomachaches, and broken fingers.

Gehrig exhibited such Herculean strength he was nicknamed "Iron Horse."

So it wasn't much of a surprise when 62,000 fans showed up at Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939 for Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day. The captain of the team was retiring.

The Yanks and the Washington Senators were playing a doubleheader that day. A ceremony was planned between games honoring Gehrig.

Joe DiMaggio was there. Even Babe Ruth showed up to honor his former teammate. The two hadn't spoken in five years. Gehrig's parents and wife were also in the stands.

At 36-years-old it was hard to believe he was finished. What the crowd didn't know was Gehrig was dying. He had been diagnosed with ALS, a deadly disease affecting the central nervous system.

On July 14, Hunt Auctions featured a selection of Gehrig memorabilia in its Major League Baseball All-Star Fanfest held in St. Louis, Mo.

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