View Full Version : Sad story about Lou Gehrig...

08-22-01, 01:46 PM
Later in that Wes Ferrell Interview he talks about being with the Yankees ...

Something happened in an extra inning game in which I pitched against Washington which I thought curious at the time, though now, with hindsight, I can understand it. We should've won the game in nine innings, but Gehrig made a bad play on a fielder's choice and let the tying run in. Instead of going to the plate and throwing the man out, he went the easy way, to first base. It was the kind of play you'd never expect him to make. Nobody knew at the time, of course that Gehrig was dying. All we knew was that he wasn't swinging the bat the way he could, nor running the way he could.

The next year, in spring training, it got worse. I was in the clubhouse with him one day down in St. Petersburg. The rest of the team was out on the field. Lou got up on the bench to look out the window to see what was going on on the field. It was some effort for him to do that, and he wasn't too steady. All of a sudden he fell over, right down to the floor. Just like that. He fell hard, too, and lay there for a second, frowning, like he couldn't understand what was happening.

"You hurt yourself, Lou?" the trainer asked.

"No, I'm okay," he said. He got up and didn't say anything more about it. I suppose he didn't know what was wrong, any more than the rest of us. He'd hit a ball into right center, a sure double, and run and run as hard as he could -- he always hustled -- and get thrown out by a mile. In workouts you'd see him straining and huffing and puffing, running as hard as he could, and not getting anywhere. The fellows would laugh and kid him. "Hey, Lou, you're getting old." That sort of thing. Nobody knew the truth.

I remember one time out on the golf course, it was during the St. Petersburg Open. A lot of us went out to watch the pros. I was following the crowd, and I noticed Lou, walking all by himself along the edge of the woods. I watched him for a while; he was wearing tennis sneakers and was sliding his feet as he went along, instead of picking them up and putting them down. Looking back now, I realize why. His muscles were so deteriorated that just the effort of lifting his feet a few inches to walk had already become too much. God, it was sad to see -- Lou Gehrig having to slide his feet along the grass to move himself....


08-22-01, 01:55 PM
The not knowing must have been the hardest part.

08-22-01, 05:25 PM
The Lou Gehrig story always gave me inspiration. I mean, like chris stated..the not knowing must have been the hardest part of all this, But then finding out the truth and making statements like, "Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth." & "I know I've been given a bad break, but I have an awful lot to live for." How someone can make statements like that in the face of immenent death, to me, is amazing. He came from nothing to become one of the top icons in the baseball world. Only to have it all taken away by a cruel act of fate(ALS). I really wish I could've seen him play.

08-22-01, 08:01 PM
That sucks. Too bad there was no help back then. :(

08-22-01, 11:56 PM
If you look at the quote in my signature it came from a letter he wrote to his wife right after he found out the "truth" -- or so he thought, though in reality his wife would not let the doctors reveal to him that he only had two years to live at most, instead having them tell him he had "chronic infantile paralysis" and that he might have to use a cane in ten to fifteen years. Though evidence shows he knew his fate. (Once he was standing around with a few players when a bus of boyscouts passed them, and they started shouting to him "good luck, Lou! You'll always be a great player!" etc. At which point he turned to Bill Dickey and said, "Look at that. They're wishing me luck.... and I'm dying.") I use that quote as some motivation, when all things seem not to be going my way... moreso than the "luckiest man" one, because it shows that even when things were at their worst, he believed he could get through it... he never gave up, never gave in, down to the last days of his life.

DW Fan
08-23-01, 11:30 AM
Very sad. :(

08-24-01, 01:46 PM
Oh God, bless his heart. :( I think he is the most admirable man to have ever played the game.

Jersey Yankee
08-31-01, 03:50 AM
Very sad story, as I'll echo others. I'll take my Yankee cap off to that great Gehrig any time, any day for he is truly worthy.

Now one can ever say he never tried, since he probably tried harder doing what was familiarly routine, just to even look "bad".

In a way, his muscle deterioration seems like it's being told by a son about seeing his strong as an ox father becoming less awesomely strong somehow, the son now being curious, somewhat afraid at what's happening.

In the end, he gave it his all. He lived a glorious life, played for the best sports team ever and was truly the Luckiest Man on the Earth, per his famous speech.

Long Live Gehrig!!! Three Cheers!!!

09-01-01, 04:59 AM
Originally posted by seahorse
That sucks. Too bad there was no help back then. :(
And no real help today. ALS is still uncurable.

09-12-01, 03:24 PM
:NY: My heart goes out to Lou Gehrig. :NY: He is one of my favorite Yankees:ga-ga: :NY: :NY: His silent leadership is missed.:NY:

09-12-01, 07:17 PM
God, what a sad, sad story. Lou was such a classy, wonderful gentlemen that was greatly missed by all that knew him.

09-12-01, 09:19 PM
...so sad that they didnt know more about his illiness in those days :(

Jersey Yankee
09-24-01, 12:11 AM
Originally posted by JeanC
...so sad that they didnt know more about his illiness in those days :( Same here. I bought a #4 Cooperstown Collection jersey to honor him. I just wish he'd lived much longer.


10-22-01, 11:40 PM
That, dear friends, is the quieter reason behind my own admiration of the man.

I chose my tag because I loved my grandpa very much, and he was a ringer for Lou Gehrig. I consider them both to have been very handsome and strong (hpysically, but also in heart!) guys. My grandpa died of cancer when I was about 7, I'll never forget the fight he gave it. He was a strong man to the end, and both men have inspired me in my life.

I miss my grandpa still to this day, 30 years later, but I remember him as if he had been and still was the vital, strong fella he was. Same with Lou Gehrig. He will not only always be an integral part of Yankee history, but of the history of baseball itself, and as far as inspiring, positive-minded examples go, he is one of the very best.

10-23-01, 12:24 AM
Fortunately the Gehrig legends extends beyond baseball even to this day. One of the first truly great Yankee legends. The man is still an inspiration!

Slippery Elm
10-23-01, 11:25 PM
Originally posted by seahorse
That sucks. Too bad there was no help back then. :(

There is no real help for ALS now!



any truth to that account about some new Yankee getting on a failing Lou and having to be dealt with by Dickey??