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Don't be fooled: Lou Gehrig cared about the records

Sep 8, 2009, 8:50 AM EDT

Keeping with this morning’s historical theme, we turn to Derek Jeter’s imminent eclipsing of Lou Gehrig’s Yankees hit record (he was 0-4 yesterday).  A great record to be sure, currently held by a great man.  So great, in fact, that as is often the case, people seem to want to make him greater than maybe he really was.  Some interesting accuracy from a guy who literally wrote the book on Gehrig:

He was not universally beloved. Some reporters found him dull. Children
in the Bronx complained that he would sneak in and out of Yankee Stadium 
to avoid signing autographs. He almost never picked up a dinner tab or
tipped a delivery boy. Even some of his teammates thought he could have
been friendlier. (He invited only one Yankee, Bill Dickey, to his wedding) . . .

. . . Some of the writers suggested that Gehrig was such a stoic that he did
not care about records. Whenever Gehrig approached or set a record,
reporters pounding at their portable typewriters made it sound as if
the shy slugger was unaware or unconcerned with the feat. When Gehrig and Babe Ruth battled in 1927 for the single-season home
run record, the writers described it as a friendly contest. But Gehrig took those things seriously, especially when Ruth was involved.

The author of the piece isn’t slamming Gehrig. He’s just showing that he was human as opposed to the selflessly stoic and godlike figure he’s so frequently made out to be.

Which, in my mind, makes him more interesting and no less great.  I’ve always thought the same thing applied to Derek Jeter too.

(Thanks to YankeeFan Len for the link)

  1. hop - Sep 8, 2009 at 10:22 AM

    Dumb article, every player cares about how well they do and if you do well enough, long enough your gonna reach some records so it goes hand and hand.

  2. Motherscratcher - Sep 9, 2009 at 12:20 AM

    Craig, how can you stand to write for this site when you have to read geniuses like hop tell you that it’s a “dumb article” followed by a reason that would barely make any sense even if it didn’t contain all manner of punctuation errors and affronts to proper grammar?

  3. zac - Sep 9, 2009 at 1:20 PM

    if the worst thing people have to say about you is that you didn’t tip and that you “could have been nicer,” I say you’re doing okay.

  4. Cortaflex - Jan 4, 2010 at 9:33 AM

    Yup, couldn’t agree more. And I’d like to add that you’ve got a great colour scheme on your site, I suffer with colour blindness and many webmasters don’t give us a second thought!

  5. Cortavet - Jan 6, 2010 at 8:28 AM

    Finally, someone who says it like it is! Thanks, keep doing what you are doing.

  6. how to build a chicken coop - Feb 5, 2010 at 6:26 PM

    There are certainly a lot of details like that to take into consideration. That is a great point to bring up. I offer the thoughts above as general inspiration but clearly there are questions like the one you bring up where the most important thing will be working in honest good faith. I don?t know if best practices have emerged around things like that, but I am sure that your job is clearly identified as a fair game.

  7. Filiberto Hillerud - Feb 19, 2010 at 9:08 PM

    Very nice site!

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