Tag Archives: baseball

“The finest example of a ballplayer, sportsman, and citizen…”

These are the words spoken by New York Yankees manager Joe McCarthy on July 4, 1939.

New York Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig had announced his retirement from baseball on June 21st.  After almost 17 years in of play, increasing fatigue and lack of coordination had led his wife Eleanor to call the famed Mayo Clinic.  Six days of extensive testing led to the devastating diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).  His rapidly increasing paralysis and difficulties with breathing and swallowing meant that the prognosis was dire.  Life expectancy was estimated at about three years.

The Yankees decided to honor the retiring player by declaring July 4, 1939 “Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day”.  Between the games of their double-header against the Washington Senators, speeches, ceremonies, and awards extolled the virtues of one of baseball’s legendary players.  After all the presentations, remarks by dignitaries, and a speech by  teammate Babe Ruth, Gehrig addressed the crowd:

Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. I have been in ballparks for seventeen 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 with her own daughter — that’s something. When you have a father and a 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 been given a bad break, but I’ve got an awful lot to live for. Thank you.

— Lou Gehrig at Yankee Stadium, July 4, 1939  After his remarks, the crowd gave a standing ovation and chanted “We love you, Lou” to the visibly emotional Gehrig.  He left his beloved game and took a public service post; declining more lucrative speaking and appearance jobs.  On June 2, 1941, less than 2 years after his diagnosis, Henry Louis “Lou” Gehrig died at his home in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, New York.  Gehrig’s number 4 was retired by the Yankees.  It was the first time that honor had ever been bestowed on a player.

How many of us could face the devastation of a life-changing diagnosis with such aplomb?  How many of us could look past our own struggles to see where we can touch the lives of others?  We could all be a little better if we were a little more like Lou.

lou-gehrig

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Lost and Found – January 11th Edition

What to remember about January 11th…

  • 630  Muhammad leads army of 10,000 to conquer city of Mecca
  • 1755  Founding Father, soldier, and 1st United States Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton is born (d. 1804)
  • 1861  Alabama secedes from the Union ahead of the Civil War
  • 1863  Union forces capture crucial fortifications at confluence of Mississippi and Arkansas Rivers; secures supply lines for coming offensive at Vicksburg
  • 1908  President Theodore Roosevelt bypasses Congress’ power to designate national parks by declaring Grand Canyon a national monument
  • 1935  American aviator Emilia Earhart becomes 1st to fly solo from Hawaii to North America; 18 hour flight wins her $10,000
  • 1949  Cornerstone is laid for the 1st major mosque in the United States; 160-foot minaret rises above Connecticut Avenue in Washington, D.C.
  • 1973  Baseball’s American League adopts the designated hitter rule
  • 1989  President Reagan delivers his farewell address as his second term comes to a close; declares America “respected again in the world”
  • 2003  Illinois Governor George Ryan commutes sentences of 167 death row inmates as a result of investigation into illegal police interrogations

alexander hamilton on guns

Lost and Found – January 5th Edition

What to remember about January 5th…

  • 1779  American explorer and army general Zebulon Montgomery Pike Jr. is born in Lamberton, New Jersey (d. 1813)
  • 1781  Traitor Benedict Arnold, now a General in British army, leads loyalist troops to capture and destroy Richmond, Virginia
  • 1920  New York Yankees announce the purchase of Babe Ruth from Boston Red Sox; worst baseball deal in history?
  • 1933  Construction begins on the Great Depression delayed Golden Gate Bridge; most popular suicide location in the world
  • 1949  President Truman gives “Fair Deal” State of the Union speech outlining national health insurance, public housing, and more
  • 1967  U.S. Marines begin amphibious operations in Mekong Delta
  • 1970  United Mine Workers (UMW) leader Jock Yablonski and his family found murdered in their home; investigation reveals that UMW leadership had paid for their murders for disputing election
  • 1972  President Nixon signs bill authorizing Space Shuttle program
  • 1976  Pol Pot, murderous, communist dictator of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, renames the country Democratic Kampuchea
  • 1993  Serial killer and  child molester Westley Allen Dodd is executed; last execution by hanging in the U.S.
  • 1996  Palestinian master bomb maker is killed by Israel’s Shin Bet with bomb placed in his cell phone

Lost and Found – November 2nd Edition

What to remember about November 2nd…

    • 1777  USS Ranger under command of John Paul Jones sets sail from Portsmouth, New Hampshire to hunt British warships
    • 1795  James Knox Polk is born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina (d. 1849); he will be America’s 11th president
    • 1865  Warren Gamaliel Harding is born in Corsica, Ohio (d. 1923); he will be 29th America’s president
    • 1899  North and South Dakota are admitted to the Union as the 39th and 40th states
    • 1917  British foreign Secretary sends declaration of intent to establish a Jewish homeland; League of Nations will approve
    • 1921  American Birth Control League was founded by Margaret Sanger; becomes Planned Parenthood in 1942
    • 1947  Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose makes maiden and only flight; it is still the largest aircraft ever built
    • 1963  South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem is assassinated i coup; America is drawn deeper into the war
    • 1983  President Reagan signs bill declaring 3rd Monday in January be observed as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
    • 2004  Dutch film maker Theo Van Gogh is murdered in broad daylight by a muslim after making film critical of Islam’s treatment of women
    • UPDATE: 2016  In game 7, the Chicago Cubs defeat the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in extra innings to win their first World Series Championship in 108 years

cubs-world-series

Lost and Found – October 27th Edition

What to remember about October 27th…

    • 1659  Massachusetts executes 2 Quakers for their beliefs
    • 1787  1st essay of the Federalist Papers is published
    • 1810  United States annexes former Spanish colony of West Florida
    • 1858  Future President Theodore Roosevelt is born in New York City
    • 1904 1st Subway opens in New York City
    • 1962  America pilot becomes only casualty of the Cuban Missile Crisis when his U-2 reconnaissance plane is shot down by Soviet missile
    • 1964  Ronald Reagan gives “A Time For Choosing” speech on behalf of Barry Goldwater; launches his political career
    • 1988  President Reagan decides to demolish the new U.S. Embassy in Moscow after discovery of built-in Soviet listening devices
    • 2004  Boston Red Sox win 1st World series since 1918

Lost and Found – October 24th Edition

What to remember about October 24th…

  • 1861  Western Union completes 1st transcontinental telegraph line
  • 1901  Annie Edson Taylor becomes the first person to survive a trip over Niagara Falls in a barrel; it is her 63rd birthday
  • 1929  “Black Thursday” begins a  stock market crash that starts the 12-year Great Depression
  • 1944  American Navy sinks Japanese both an aircraft carrier and a battleship at the Battle of Leyte Gulf
  • 1945  United Nations is formally established with the ratification of the United Nations Charter
  • 1949  Cornerstone of the United Nations Headquarters in New York is lain; construction financed by $65 million loan from U.S.
  • 1951  President Truman proclaims that the war with Germany is officially over
  • 1992  Toronto Blue Jays become 1st team outside of the United States to win Major League Baseball’s World Series
  • 2003  Supersonic Concorde passenger jet makes its last commercial flight
  • 2005  Civil rights activist Rosa Louise McCauley Parks dies at home in Detroit, Michigan (b. 1913)

Lost and Found – October 14th Edition

What to remember about October 14th…

    • 1066  Norman forces under William the Conqueror defeat the English forces at the Battle of Hastings; Anglo-Saxon rule ends in England with the death of King Harold II
    • 1780  Heavily outnumbered patriot force ambushes loyalists to win Battle of Shallow Ford in North Carolina
    • 1890  President Dwight D. Eisenhower is born in Texas
    • 1908  Chicago Cubs defeat Detroit Tigers to win the World Series; team has won no championship since
    • 1912  Candidate Theodore Roosevelt is shot during campaign appearance in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    • 1947  American test pilot Captain Chuck Yerger is 1st to fly faster than the speed of sound
    • 1962  Cuban Missile Crises begins when aerial reconnaissance photos show Soviet missiles stationed on the island
    • 1964  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is awarded Nobel Peace Prize
    • 2003  Steve Bartman catches foul ball leading to Cubs loss and continuation of the “Billy Goat Curse”

dwight-d-eisenhower-presidential-coin

Lost and Found – October 1st Edition

What to remember about October 1st…

  • 1730  American jurist, legislator, and signer of the Declaration of Independence Richard Stockton is born near Princeton, New Jersey
  • 1781  American naval officer James Lawrence is born; famously gave dying command “Don’t give up the ship!” during War of 1812
  • 1864  Washington, D.C. socialite and Confederate spy Rose O’Neal Greenhow drowns while smuggling gold to the South
  • 1890  Congress establishes Yosemite National Park
  • 1903  Pittsburgh Pirates and the Boston Americans play the 1st game of the 1st World Series ; game is held at the Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds in Boston, Massachusetts
  • 1908  Ford Motor Corporation unveils the 1st production Model T in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1924  President James Earl “Jimmy” Carter is born in Plains, Georgia
  • 1949  Mao Zedong proclaims the creation of the People’s Republic of China
  • 1958  NASA begins operations; replaces the 46-year-old NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics)
  • 1975  Muhammad Ali defeats Joe Frazier at the Thrilla in Manila boxing match in the Philippines
  • 1981  EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow) Center opens at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida
  • 2005  University of Oklahoma student Joel “Joe” Henry Hinrichs III detonates backpack bomb outside Oklahoma Memorial Stadium there were no other casualties

Lost and Found – September 6th Edition

What to remember about September 6th…

  • 1757  French general and hero of the American Revolution Marquis de La Fayette is born
  • 1847  American author and abolitionist Henry David Thoreau leaves Walden Pond and moves in with Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • 1901  President William McKinley is shot by anarchist Leon Czolgosz in Boston; he dies September 14th from infection
  • 1972  9 more Israeli athletes and a German police officer are murdered by Palestinian terrorists as the Munich Olympic hostage taking ends
  • 1976  Soviet air force pilot Lt. Viktor Belenko lands a MiG-25 jet fighter at Hakodate, Japan to defect to the U.S.
  • 1995  Cal Ripken played his 2,131st consecutive professional baseball game beating the record previously held by Lou Gehrig
  • 1997  Billions watch the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales; Sir Elton John performs “Candle in the Wind”

Lost and Found – August 26th Edition

What to remember about August 26th…

  • 1794  President Washington writes to Virginia governor Henry Lee regarding planned federal response to the Whiskey Rebellion
  • 1920  Official proclamation by the Secretary of State that the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is formally adopted; guarantees women the right to vote
  • 1939  1st televised Major League baseball game is broadcast; Cincinnati Reds play Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field
  • 1957  Soviet Union announces its 1st successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile
  • 1968  Democrat National Convention begins in Chicago;  4 days of violent anti-war demonstrations and rioting begin
  • 1974  American aviation legend Charles Lindbergh dies; 1st person to fly nonstop and solo across the Atlantic (May 20-21, 1927)
  • 2003  Space Shuttle program: Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) releases 200 page report on shuttle Columbia’s destruction and the death of its seven astronauts

Charles Lindbergh and the Spirit of St. Louis