silver sage

opinions from the high desert

Lou Gehrig 1903-1941

“I have been walking onto ballfields for 16 years, and I’ve never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans. I have had the great honor to have played with these great veteran ballplayers on my left — Murderers Row, our championship team of 1927. I have had the further honor living and playing with these men on my right– the Bronx Bombers, the Yankees of today. I have been given fame and undeserved praise by the boys up there behind the wire, my friends, the sports writers. I have worked under the two greatest managers of all time, Miller Huggins and Joe McCarthy. I have a mother and father who fought to give me health and a solid background in my youth. I have a wife, a companion for life, who has shown me more courage than I ever knew. People all say that I’ve had a bad break. But today –today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”

Lou Gehrig Delivers “Farewell to Baseball Address” at Yankee Stadium
in the movie “The Pride of the Yankees

I’m not a big baseball fan, but what an incredible man and role model Mr. Gehrig was. They really don’t make them like that any more.

His speech, according to his wife, was as follows:

“Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about a bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. I have been in ballparks for 17 years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.
Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn’t consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day?
Sure, I’m lucky. Who wouldn’t consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert; also the builder of baseball’s greatest empire, Ed Barrow; to have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins; then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology – the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy?
Sure, I’m lucky. When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift – that’s something! When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies – that’s something.
When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles against her own daughter – that’s something. When you have a father and mother who work all their lives so that you can have an education and build your body – it’s a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed – that’s the finest I know.
So I close in saying that I might have had a tough break; but I have an awful lot to live for.”
He began to back away, then remembered his manners and quickly added, “Thank you.”

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July 17, 2006 - Posted by | Baseball, health, Heroes

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