Position: First Baseman
On June 2, 1925, when New York Yankees backup first sacker Fred Merkle, who was giving the club’s longtime regular Wally Pipp a day off, seemed about to collapse from the heat, manager Miller Huggins called on rookie first baseman Lou Gehrig as a late-inning replacement. Merkle never started another game in the majors, and Pipp never got his job back.
Gehrig played a record 2,130 consecutive games for the Yankees. He did not always play all nine innings and he was not always stationed at first base, but one way or another his name always appeared on the lineup card. Only very rarely did he play for the sole reason of extending his monumental streak. He played because he was the best all-around first baseman in baseball history.
On the day Lou Gehrig hit four home runs, John McGraw
resigned as manager of the Giants.
Gehrig accepted a bonus of $1,500 from the Yankees against his father’s wishes and began playing with
In 1931, Lou established an American League record when he drove in 184 runs, breaking his own mark of 175 set in 1927. The following year, he became the first player in the 20th century to clout four home runs in a game. He also once had three triples in a game that was rained out in the fourth inning before it became an official contest. When Lou left baseball he had 493 home runs, second at the time only to Babe Ruth.
Gehrig’s slugging exploits were only part of the story. He was also both an excellent baserunner and a solid first baseman. He was extremely consistent and, of course, very durable. Twice he was selected the
In 1934, Gehrig won the Triple Crown while copping his only batting title with a .363 mark. Two years later he garnered his final home run crown with 49 four-baggers, tying his own personal high. When Gehrig’s batting average slipped to .295 in 1938 and his RBI and homer totals also dipped, it seemed just an off year at first. The strange slump persisted into the next season, restricting him to a meager four singles in his first eight games. When teammates began congratulating him for making routine plays, Lou knew the time had come to step down.
Following the 1939 season, Gehrig took a job with the New York City Parole Commission. He worked with youth groups and played bridge with his wife and friends until just a few weeks before his death on
Here are Lou Gehrig's major league totals:
|BA||G||AB||R||H||2B ||3B||HR||RBI ||SB |
|.340||2,164||8,001 ||1,888||2,721 ||535 ||162 ||493 ||1,990 ||102|
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