It was some 80 years ago that Lou Gehrig and the 12-year-old son of a songwriter got bored with talk of music and opted to play catch instead.
The legendary New York Yankees slugger and the boy were fast friends and next time they tossed the ball around the front yard, Gehrig brought Howard Henderson — a fellow lefty — a better glove.
The autographed mitt — “To Howard. I hope you have much luck with this glove as I did. Lou Gehrig.” — will be auctioned off July 15. It is expected to sell for between $200,000 and $300,000.
Henderson, now a retired architect who lives in Greenwich, turns 92 today. That’s also the 75th anniversary of Gehrig’s famous July Fourth farewell speech at Yankee Stadium, in which he called himself “the luckiest man on the face of the Earth” despite being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Gehrig and his wife, Eleanor, were friends with Henderson’s father, Ray.
Henderson was used to encountering the famous such as actor Jimmy Durante and actress Ethel Merman. But Gehrig stood out, literally.
“I was impressed. He was big,” Henderson said. “He was a very nice guy, probably one of the nicest people in baseball.”
David Hunt, president of Hunt Auctions, which is selling the glove on behalf of Henderson, is confident it is Gehrig’s signed glove but can’t prove he used it in a game, although he likely did.
STADIUM DEAL RENEWED — The Oakland Athletics finalized a deal on a 10-year extension to play at the Coliseum through 2024.
The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority approved the agreement Thursday. The deal still needs to be approved by the Oakland City Council and Alameda County Board of Supervisors.
The deal settles all issues between the two sides, including a dispute of past rent owed by the A’s. The A’s will spend more than $10 million on a new scoreboard and the Coliseum Authority will pay for any structural improvements before Opening Day 2015.
AROUND THE BASES — CC Sabathia’s return to the New York Yankees’ rotation is being delayed because he had swelling in his injured right knee after making his second rehabilitation start. Sabathia made a start for Double-A Trenton on Wednesday. He had an MRI on Thursday. ... The Colorado Rockies activated third baseman Nolan Arenado from the 15-day disabled list and optioned left-hander Christian Friedrich to Triple-A Colorado Springs. ... Texas Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish’s was pushed back one day after rain delayed the start of Thursday’s game against the Orioles. ... The Los Angeles Dodgers recalled infielder Erisbel Arruebarrena from Triple-A Albuquerque and optioned infielder Carlos Triunfel to the Isotopes.