Lou Gehrig Career (Part 2)

Because Lou Gehrig was such a good scholar and athlete, many colleges wanted him. Yet, he decided to go to Columbia so he could stay close to his parents. Columbia wanted him to play football and baseball. However, he unintentionally broke collage eligibility rules by playing for a Connecticut professional team for several weeks in the summer to earn some money after high school. Although Columbia benched him for a year and a half, he was allowed to practice with the team. Even though he couldn’t play in the games, he was the hardest worker. He was known for being the first player on and the last player off the diamond at every practice. Lou was a versatile player, who pitched, and played first base and out field for Columbia.

Lou was so good he jumped right from collage baseball to major league baseball. On April 26, 1923, Paul Krichell, a scout for the New York Yankees, watched him play and after the game he said, “I did not go there to look at Lou Gehrig. I did not even know what position he played, but he played in the outfield against Rutgers and socked a couple of balls a mile. I sat up and took notice. I saw a tremendous youth, with powerful arms and terrific legs. I said, here is a kid who can’t miss.” The day after the scout saw him, Lou signed a contract. On June 1, 1925 Lou played his first professional game with the Yankees. In 1927 the baseball writers picked him as the American League MVP, and he was selected again in 1936. In 1932 Lou became the first player of the twentieth century to hit four home runs in a game. He was a Triple Crown winner in 1934, leading the American League in batting average, home runs, and RBI’S.  For the next fourteen years he played in 2,130 consecutive games. Over his pro career Lou was a huge part of the Yankees success. Lou Gehrig was a leader on and off the field.  Sportswriter, John Kieran, of The New York Times wrote, “His greatest record doesn’t show in the book. It was the absolute reliability of Henry Louis Gehrig. He could be counted upon. He was there every day at the ballpark bending his back and ready to break his neck to win for his side. He was there day after day and year after year. He never sulked or whined or went into a pot or a huff. He was the answer to a manager’s dream.” His great personality and work ethic, along with his talent, made him a great baseball player.

* * *

Part 1 is here.

  1. March 2nd, 2010
  2. March 3rd, 2010

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