51 Facts About Lou Gehrig


Lou Gehrig was renowned for his prowess as a hitter and for his durability, which earned him his nickname "the Iron Horse".

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Lou Gehrig was an All-Star seven consecutive times, a Triple Crown winner once, an American League Most Valuable Player twice, and a member of six World Series champion teams.

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Lou Gehrig set several major-league records during his career, including the most career grand slams and most consecutive games played (2, 130), a record that stood for 56 years and was long considered unbreakable until surpassed by Cal Ripken Jr.

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Lou Gehrig's father was a sheet-metal worker by trade who was frequently unemployed due to alcoholism and epilepsy, and his mother, a maid, was the main breadwinner and disciplinarian in the family.

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From an early age, Lou Gehrig helped his mother with work, doing tasks such as folding laundry and picking up supplies from the local stores.

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Lou Gehrig spoke German during his childhood, not learning English until the age of five.

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Lou Gehrig's name was often anglicized to Henry Louis Gehrig but he was known as "Lou" so he would not be confused with his identically named father, who was known as Henry.

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Lou Gehrig first garnered national attention for his baseball ability while playing in a game at Cubs Park in Chicago on June 26, 1920.

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Lou Gehrig then studied engineering at Columbia University for two years, finding the schoolwork difficult before leaving to pursue a career in professional baseball.

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Lou Gehrig had been recruited to play football at the school, earning a scholarship there, later joining the baseball squad.

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In 1922 Lou Gehrig returned to collegiate sports as a fullback for the Columbia Lions football program.

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Lou Gehrig's pitching did not particularly impress him; rather, it was Lou Gehrig's powerful left-handed hitting.

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Lou Gehrig returned to the minor-league Hartford Senators to play parts of two seasons, 1923 and 1924, batting.

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Unlike Ruth, Lou Gehrig was not a gifted position player so he played first base, often the position for a strong hitter but weaker fielder.

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In 1927, Lou Gehrig put together one of the greatest seasons by any batter in history, hitting.

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Ruth's celebrity was so great that Lou Gehrig's ghostwritten syndicated newspaper column that year was called "Following the Babe".

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Lou Gehrig wore number 4 because he hit behind Babe Ruth, who batted third in the lineup.

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In 1932, Lou Gehrig became the first player in the 20th century to hit four home runs in a game, when he accomplished the feat on June 3 against the Philadelphia Athletics.

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Lou Gehrig narrowly missed getting a fifth home run when Athletics center fielder Al Simmons made a leaping catch of another fly ball at the center-field fence.

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McGraw, not Lou Gehrig, got the main headlines in the sports sections the next day.

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Lou Gehrig lived with his parents until 1933, when he was 30 years old.

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Lou Gehrig's mother ruined all of Gehrig's romances until he met Eleanor Twitchell in 1932; they began dating the next year and married in September.

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Lou Gehrig's was the daughter of Chicago Parks Commissioner Frank Twitchell.

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Lou Gehrig's helped Gehrig leave his mother's influence and hired Christy Walsh, Ruth's sports agent; Walsh helped Gehrig become the first athlete on Wheaties boxes.

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Also in 1936, at the urging of his wife, Lou Gehrig agreed to hire Babe Ruth's agent, who, in turn, persuaded him to audition for the role of Tarzan in the independent film Tarzan's Revenge.

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Lou Gehrig only got as far, though, as posing for a widely distributed, and embarrassing, photo of himself in a leopard-spotted costume.

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When Tarzan creator Edgar Rice Burroughs spotted the outfit, he telegrammed Lou Gehrig, "I want to congratulate you on being a swell first baseman.

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On June 1, 1925, Lou Gehrig entered the game as a pinch hitter, substituting for shortstop Paul "Pee Wee" Wanninger.

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Lou Gehrig was persuaded, but not convinced, by his wife, Eleanor, to end the streak at 1, 999 games by acting sick, as he had already played through flu bouts before, and already had a nearly 700-game lead over the previous record.

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Lou Gehrig is meeting the ball, time after time, and it isn't going anywhere.

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Lou Gehrig had just played his 2, 130th consecutive major league game.

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Lou Gehrig stayed with the Yankees as team captain for the rest of the season, but never played in a major-league game again.

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Lou Gehrig flew alone to Rochester from Chicago, where the Yankees were playing at the time, and arrived at the Mayo Clinic on June 13, 1939.

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Eleanor Lou Gehrig was told that the cause of ALS was unknown, but that it was painless, not contagious, and cruel; the motor function of the central nervous system is destroyed, but the mind remains fully aware until the end.

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Lou Gehrig often wrote letters to Eleanor, and one such note written shortly after the diagnosis said in part:.

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Lou Gehrig waved back, but he leaned forward to his companion, Rutherford "Rud" Rennie of the New York Herald Tribune, and said, "They're wishing me luck — and I'm dying.

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Lou Gehrig did not want Gehrig to share the spotlight with any other all-star.

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Lou Gehrig was visibly shaken as he stepped back from the microphone, and wiped the tears away from his face with his handkerchief.

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Lou Gehrig played his last game for the Yankees on April 30, 1939.

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Lou Gehrig was often helped by his wife Eleanor, who would guide his hand when he had to sign official documents.

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Lou Gehrig's ashes were locked into a crypt in the stone monument marking his grave.

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Lou Gehrig's died 43 years after Gehrig on her 80th birthday, March 6, 1984, and was interred with him in Kensico Cemetery.

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Lou Gehrig led the American League in runs scored four times, home runs three times, and RBIs five times.

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Lou Gehrig batted fourth in the lineup behind Ruth, making intentionally walking Ruth counterproductive for opposing pitchers.

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Lefty Grove, one of the AL's best pitchers during Lou Gehrig's playing days who often threw the ball at batters, refrained from doing so to Lou Gehrig.

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The award was created by the Phi Delta Theta fraternity in honor of Lou Gehrig, who was a member of the fraternity at Columbia University.

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June 2 was chosen because it is the anniversary of when Lou Gehrig became the Yankees' starting first baseman in 1925 and when he died in 1941.

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Sixty years after his farewell to baseball, Lou Gehrig received the most votes of any baseball player on the Major League Baseball All-Century Team, chosen by fan balloting in 1999.

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Lou Gehrig starred in the 1938 20th Century Fox movie Rawhide, playing himself in his only feature-film appearance.

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Lou Gehrig's life was the subject of the 1942 film The Pride of the Yankees, starring Gary Cooper as Lou Gehrig and Teresa Wright as his wife.

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Lou Gehrig apparently told this story originally when Gehrig's widow was in the audience at a speaking engagement.

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