This day in baseball: Gehrig records 17 Ks

On April 18, 1923, Columbia University pitcher Lou Gehrig struck out 17 Williams College batters to set a school record.  Columbia lost the game 5-1, however, as Gehrig’s pitching also proved to be a bit on the wild side.

Lou Gehrig Columbia University

Columbiana Library, Columbia University


This day in baseball: Gehrig named Yankee captain

Lou Gehrig was named team captain of the New York Yankees on April 12, 1935. The date on which this honor was bestowed upon Gehrig is commonly mistaken for April 21st, however, this article in the April 13th New York Times demonstrates otherwise.  Gehrig retained the title of Yankees captain until his death on June 2, 1941.

Gehrig captain

New York Times


Poem on Lou Gehrig’s trophy

gehrig

The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter

Shortly following Lou Gehrig’s retirement from baseball, due to his diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the Yankees declared July 4, 1939 “Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day.”  On this day, Gehrig delivered his now-historic “Luckiest Man” speech to the fans of Yankee Stadium.  During that ceremony, Gehrig’s teammates presented him with a trophy, and on that trophy they had the following poem, written by John Kiernan, engraved.

*

To LOU GEHRIG

We’ve been to the wars together;
We took our foes as they came;
And always you were the leader,
And ever you played the game.
Idol of cheering millions,
Records are yours by sheaves;
Iron of frame they hailed you
Decked you with laurel leaves.
But higher than that we hold you,
We who have known you best;
Knowing the way you came through
Every human test.
Let this be a silent token
Of lasting Friendship’s gleam,
And all that we’ve left unspoken;
Your Pals of the Yankees Team.


This day in baseball: Gehrig loses a home run

On April 26, 1931, with Lyn Lary as the runner on first base and two out in the inning, Yankee first baseman Lou Gehrig hit a home run at Griffith Stadium.  The homer cleared the centerfield fence, but then bounced back into the hands of Senators centerfielder Harry Rice.  Lary, thinking the ball had been caught, returned to the dugout without ever crossing home plate.  Gehrig, who had been running the bases with his head down, did not notice what happened and ended up getting called out for passing a runner on the base paths.

The incident ended up costing Gehrig the home run crown, as he and Babe Ruth finished the season tied with 46 homers a piece.

lou_gehrig


Hit one for me

I came across this comic on Twitter and couldn’t help but laugh.  It’s an amusing twist on the Babe Ruth/Lou Gehrig “hit one for the sick child” legend.  The artist behind the strip appears to be one Nicholas Gurewitch.

PBFComic hit one


Wally Pipp’s headache

Here’s a fun little comic by Molly Lawless about that moment when Lou Gehrig’s consecutive games streak began.  Whatever the story behind Pipp’s sitting out that day, you can’t help but feel for the guy.

wally pipp comic molly lawless


Quote of the day

I’m not a headline guy. I know that as long as I was following Ruth to the plate I could have stood on my head and no one would have known the difference.

~Lou Gehrig

lou_gehrig


This day in baseball: Gehrig’s streak begins

Lou Gehrig made the only pinch-hit appearance of his career on June 1, 1925 when he came off the bench to hit for infielder Pee-Wee Wanninger.  While the common tale told is that Gehrig’s 2,130-game streak started when he replaced Wally Pipp at first base (held out of the line-up due to the aftereffects of a concussion), the first game of Gehrig’s streak actually came the day before, with this pinch-hit appearance.

gehrig

The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter


This day in baseball: A trade of two Babes

The Phillies traded first baseman Babe Dahlgren to the Pirates on December 30, 1943 in exchange for catcher Babe Phelps and cash. Ellsworth Tenney “Babe” Dahlgren would be best remembered in baseball history as the man who replaced Lou Gehrig in the lineup on May 2, 1939, at the end of Gehrig’s fourteen-year, 2,130 consecutive game streak.

 

dahlgren

Amazon

 


“Line-Up for Yesterday: An ABC of Baseball Immortals,” by Ogden Nash

I have a feeling that I have seen this particular poem before, though for the life of me, I do not recall where.  In any case, this piece by Ogden Nash was originally published in the January 1949 issue of SPORT Magazine.  Nash uses the letters of the alphabet to pay tribute to some of baseball’s most popular players.

You can find a chart listing the players each stanza stands for here.

*

A is for Alex
The great Alexander;
More Goose eggs he pitched
Than a popular gander.

B is for Bresnahan
Back of the plate;
The Cubs were his love,
and McGraw his hate.

C is for Cobb,
Who grew spikes and not corn,
And made all the basemen
Wish they weren’t born.

D is for Dean,
The grammatical Diz,
When they asked, Who’s the tops?
Said correctly, I is.

E is for Evers,
His jaw in advance;
Never afraid
To Tinker with Chance.

F is for Fordham
And Frankie and Frisch;
I wish he were back
With the Giants, I wish.

G is for Gehrig,
The Pride of the Stadium;
His record pure gold,
His courage, pure radium.

H is for Hornsby;
When pitching to Rog,
The pitcher would pitch,
Then the pitcher would dodge.

I is for Me,
Not a hard-hitting man,
But an outstanding all-time
Incurable fan.

J is for Johnson
The Big Train in his prime
Was so fast he could throw
Three strikes at a time.

K is for Keeler,
As fresh as green paint,
The fastest and mostest
To hit where they ain’t.

L is for Lajoie
Whom Clevelanders love,
Napoleon himself,
With glue in his glove.

M is for Matty,
Who carried a charm
In the form of an extra
brain in his arm.

N is for Newsom,
Bobo’s favorite kin.
You ask how he’s here,
He talked himself in.

O is for Ott
Of the restless right foot.
When he leaned on the pellet,
The pellet stayed put.

P is for Plank,
The arm of the A’s;
When he tangled with Matty
Games lasted for days.

Q is for Don Quixote
Cornelius Mack;
Neither Yankees nor years
Can halt his attack.

R is for Ruth.
To tell you the truth,
There’s just no more to be said,
Just R is for Ruth.

S is for Speaker,
Swift center-field tender,
When the ball saw him coming,
It yelled, “I surrender.”

T is for Terry
The Giant from Memphis
Whose .400 average
You can’t overemphis.

U would be ‘Ubell
if Carl were a cockney;
We say Hubbell and Baseball
Like Football and Rockne.

V is for Vance
The Dodger’s very own Dazzy;
None of his rivals
Could throw as fast as he.

W is for Wagner,
The bowlegged beauty;
Short was closed to all traffic
With Honus on duty.

X is the first
of two x’s in Foxx
Who was right behind Ruth
with his powerful soxx.

Y is for Young
The magnificent Cy;
People battled against him,
But I never knew why.

Z is for Zenith
The summit of fame.
These men are up there.
These men are the game.