Iron Horse: Lou Gehrig in His Time

Iron Horse: Lou Gehrig in His Time

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by Ray Robinson
     
 

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Lou Gehrig will go down in history as one of the best ballplayers of all time. With a career average of .340 and 493 home runs, he played in a recordsetting 2,130 consecutive games and was elected to the Hall of Fame. He was robbed of his superb physical skills as a relatively young man by ALS, the degenerative disease now known as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," and died in

Overview

Lou Gehrig will go down in history as one of the best ballplayers of all time. With a career average of .340 and 493 home runs, he played in a recordsetting 2,130 consecutive games and was elected to the Hall of Fame. He was robbed of his superb physical skills as a relatively young man by ALS, the degenerative disease now known as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," and died in 1941. Ray Robinson re-creates the life of this legendary ballplayer and also provides an insightful look at baseball through the Depression years, including all the great players of that era-Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Miller Huggins, and more.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Gehrig, who played baseball for the New York Yankees from 1925 to 1939, is best known for having participated in a record 2130 consecutive games--and for having died at 37 (in 1941) of what is now called Lou Gehrig's disease. His career was a triumphant one, even though he labored for many years in the shadow of Babe Ruth, but Gehrig's personal life was not without problems. He was born into near-poverty in New York City, the son of an unambitious father and a driving, domineering mother. His immigrant parents wanted him to earn a college degree, but he left Columbia when the big money of baseball beckoned. Exceedingly shy and inarticulate, he was seen by many as sullen and unfriendly, although all respected him. He had a happy marriage but his mother hated his wife. This biography by Robinson ( Oh Baby, I Love It! ) is sensitive and moving. Photos not seen by PW. (Aug.)
Library Journal
Playing in the considerable shadow of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig's accomplishments as baseball's ``Iron Horse'' include a legendary record of 2,130 consecutive games played. The shy, unassuming Gehrig was every bit as much a hero of the national pastime as the ubiquitous Ruth, but unlike Ruth he has not had many biographers. Robinson's narrative not only traces Gehrig's life and career but also provides an insightful look at baseball in the 1920s and the Depression years. Robinson brings to life the Hall of Fame busts of Ruth, Pittsburgh's Waner brothers, Ty Cobb, indomitable Yankee manager Miller Huggins, and others. Although not as revealing as Charles Alexander's Ty Cobb ( LJ 3/1/84), Robinson's is a powerful baseball book on one of the game's neglected legends, and surpasses Frank Graham's Lou Gehrig: A Quiet Hero (1942). Highly recommended for most libraries.-- Boyd Childress, Auburn Univ. Lib., Ala.
School Library Journal
YA-- The shy and reserved Lou Gehrig, overshadowed by Babe Ruth, played for the New York Yankees from 1925-1939 and earned the nickname ``Iron Horse'' for playing in 2130 consecutive games. Robinson traces Gehrig's life from his poverty-stricken childhood with a domineering mother until he drops out of Columbia to play baseball. His happy marriage is covered, plus an insight into baseball during the 1920s and 1930s. His death at the age of 37 from a rare disease, now called Lou Gehrig's disease, completes a carefully researched biography. Appendices follow his baseball record and list winners of the Lou Gehrig Award.-- Mike Printz, Topeka West High School, KS
George Vecsey - New York Times
“Not only introduces a sports legend but…reminds everybody the game hasn't changed.”
Bob Costas
“All these many years down the road, Lou Gehrig's reputation still holds up—as does Ray Robinson's elegant biography.”
Pete Hamill
“In this carefully researched book, Ray Robinson turns an American icon into a living, breathing human being. In doing so, he also tells a marvelous story of a man and his times.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393028577
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
10/01/1990
Pages:
1
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.60(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

After the Called Shot

If a single episode encapsulated the essence of Lou Gehrig's achievements, while underlining his perennial supporting role to Babe Ruth, it was that moment in the 1932 World Series when the Babe's "called-shot" home run was infused into baseball mythology.

Stepping to the plate after the Babe's grand, risky gesture had brought the house down, Gehrig hit his own follow-up home run, an enormous fly, sailing along on the wings of the breeze off Lake Michigan, clearing the high flagpole and landing in the temporary right-field stand.

But no artist has ever been inspired to paint an oil impression of Lou's home run, while several have depicted on canvas Ruth's blast.

Ironically, Gehrig is now best remembered not for the committed way he played the game, but for the way he departed it on that lugubrious summer day in 1939 when he waved farewell to the fans at Yankee Stadium because he was stricken in the prime of life with an incurable disease.

But to understand the nobility of that moment, which has inspired so many people ever since while nudging Gehrig toward sainthood and ensconcing him in American folklore, we must recover Gehrig the player and Gehrig the man.

When the Babe and Lou played in their fourth and final World Series together in 1932, Ruth, at thirty-seven, had just enjoyed his last forty-home-run season (with forty-one).

Iron Horse. Copyright © by Ray Robinson. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Ray Robinson is an American journalist and nonfiction writer whose work often focuses on sports topics.

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Iron Horse: Lou Gehrig in His Time 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is one of if not the best book Ive ever read. It is a book that tells about the Iron Horse Lou Gherigs life, career, and his fight with ALS.This book made me think of Lou Gherig as the best player to ever step on the diamond. This book made me realize how every baseball player should conduct himself and act on and off the field. This book shows how much Lou loved the sport and how much more he loved the fans. This book also shows the stats and accomplishments Lou aquired during his career. It shows how day in and day out he would start every game no matter what the injury. I would highly recommend this book to EVERYONE because it shows how a role model should be and it shows the career of one of the greatest batters of all time when he was playing for one of the greatest dynastys of all time. Anyone who wants to be inspired should read this book about the Iron Horse Lou Gherig.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is one of if not the best book ive ever read.It is a book that tells about the Iron Horse Lou Gherigs life,carear,and his fight with ALS.This book made me think of Lou Gherig as the best player to ever step on the diamond.This book made me realize how ever baseball player should conduct himself and act on and off the field.This book shows how much Lou loved the sport and how much more he loved the fans.This book also shows the stats and accomplishments Lou aquired during his carear.It shows how day in and day out he would start every game no matter what the injury.I would highly recommend this book to EVERYONE because it shows how a role model should be and it shows the carear of one of the greatest batters of all time when he was playing for one of the greatest dynastys of all time.Anyone who wants to be inspired should read this book about the Iron Horse Lou Gherig.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a dedicated Yankee fan. I love them. Baseball is my biggest passion. And Lou Gehrig is my favorite. The Iron Horse. What more can one say? He was an amazing baseball player, and and even more amazing baseball player. This, in my opinion, is the greatest Lou Gehrig book. It is detailed, interesting, and amusing. You want to learn about Gehrig? Read this. Author Ray Robinson wrote this brilliant book and I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who loves baseball, loves Gehrig, loves the Yankees, or wants to read the story of a strong man who fought ALS with all his might until the day he finally fell. And the Iron Horse will always be loved. #4.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Want to know how one of the best first baseman in the history of baseball got his start? The story of the humble Lou Gehrig is an interesting and moving story. This book includes his full farewell speech that is one of the most memorable moments in baseball history.
Garrett_Folbe More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the greatest, if not THE greatest, biographies I have ever read. It tells the story of one of the most humble men to ever play the game of baseball: Lou Gehrig. Robinson does an absolutely wonderful job of telling of the ins and outs of Gehrig’s life and career. As an avid sports fan, I enjoyed learning about the relatively unknown life of Gehrig. Most only know Gehrig for his abrupt ending in life due to his disease. I recommend this book to anyone who wishes to learn more about the life of Gehrig and the events of his life before his tragic death, or someone who simply wants to learn the life story of a great, great man. Despite being one of the greatest baseball players to ever play the game, he often lived in the shadows of other towering figures, such as Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio. Lou did not receive proper recognition for most of his achievements and accolades during his playing career. It was not until he was diagnosed with ALS that he captured the nation’s attention, but at this point, it was too late. Gehrig serves as a model for how every athlete should be, and Robinson conveys this in a fitting manner. All sports fans need to read this book.