Lou Gehrig, Iron Man”, the first baseman who served alongside Babe Ruth on the Yankees’ Murderers Row in the 1920’s, was the kind of athlete you don’t read about much these days. He was born so poor that he went through New York City winters without a coat to wear to school. His parents were German immigrants who had never heard of baseball; he himself was a hard working, clean living young man who dropped out of Columbia University to play ball because his father was sick and his parents needed the money. He kept a clean mouth, was faithful to his wife, and didn’t abuse the press or his fellow athletes. The terrible disease that would be named after him killed him before he hit forty.
The biography is unusually short, just 77 pages long. Ordinarily I don’t prefer to read anything that brief, but I’ve mowed through some baseball biographies in the past year already, and I decided 77 pages was as much as I was good for on this subject. However, this was well done enough that I would have been willing to keep reading had it gone longer.
Gallico, Gehrig’s biographer, is eloquent, using what would now be considered a prosy, old-fashioned style, sentimental, and deeply affectionate. He was a legendary sportswriter himself back in the day, but quit in order to write fiction; he is also the author of The Poseidon Adventure.
Recommended to those that love baseball, or just a good biography.