Nicknamed "The Iron Horse" for his durability, Lou Gehrig starred at first base for the New York Yankees for 17 seasons, from 1923 until 1939. He set numerous Major League records during his career, with his most famous achievement being his amazing streak of playing in 2,130 consecutive games, a mark that stood until Cal Ripken, Jr. surpassed him in 1995. Gehrig's career was cut short when he was stricken with ALS in 1939- a disease that would go on to bear his name after his passing in 1941. Upon announcing his illness to the public, the Baseball Hall of Fame withdrew its mandatory 5-year waiting period in order to induct Gehrig in 1939, while he was still alive to enjoy this honor.
I completed this sketch card in August 2012.
10 random facts about Lou Gehrig:
- A highly-intelligent player, Gehrig played collegiate baseball at Columbia University, an Ivy League institution.
- In 1927, Gehrig put up one of the greatest seasons by any batter in history, hitting .373, with 218 hits: 52 doubles, 18 triples, 47 home runs, a then-record 175 RBI (surpassing teammate Babe Ruth's mark of 171 six years earlier), and a .765 slugging percentage.
- He won the 1934 American League Triple Crown, leading the league in batting average, home runs, and RBIs.
- He won the AL MVP award in 1927 and 1936.
- Gehrig finished his career with the most grand slams in a career (23), and held the record until Alex Rodriguez tied him in 2012.
- He had 509 RBIs during a three-season stretch (1930–32). Only 2 other players, Jimmie Foxx with 507 and Hank Greenberg with 503, have surpassed 500 RBIs in any three seasons; their totals, however, were non-consecutive.
- Three of the top 6 RBI seasons in baseball history belong to Gehrig.
- Gehrig was the first baseball player to have his uniform number retired.
- Gehrig holds the record for most consecutive seasons with 120 or more RBI, with 8.
- He was the first athlete to appear on a box of Wheaties.