Luckiest Man – The Life And Death of Lou Gehrig – Jonathan Eig
2130 games, Iron Man, Murderers Row, the Speech, the disease and a life taken too soon. These are the thoughts that most people have when they think of Lou Gehrig but Jonathan Eigs wonderful book delves deep not just into the mythos that this man, who accomplished incredible feats in a career that was cut brutally short, is known for but into the personal life of a sincere, caring, sometimes insecure but always loving husband and son. You’ll find out facts about Gehrig, his relationship with his teammates (he fell out with Ruth after the Babe was rumored to have had an affair with Gehrigs wife) his struggles in his early life and just how he coped in his final years that give you such a deep understanding and compassion for this Yankee great. On this day where we remember a dying man making one of the most iconic speeches in American history, this book is worth purchasing.
On this date 67 years ago, Thurman Munson was born. The loving, loved, curmudgeonly hard playing catcher has earned a place in the hearts of Yankee fans for his desire to win, his skills on both sides of the plate and helping to return the Yankees to the glory days in the late 70’s. His untimely passing on August 2nd 1979 in a plane accident sadly did not allow us to see his full career and the glories it might have brought but his name still resonates strongly in the fan base. Along with his number 15 being retired and a plaque in Monument Park in his name, for years his locker stood empty in the Yankees clubhouse, a memorial to his leadership and a reminder to those who put on the pinstripes what being a Yankee is truly like. Since the team moved to the other side of the street fans can now get a close up view of the locker in the Museum and see some of the memorabilia associated with man.
In 2009 Marty Appel who worked in the Yankees organization during the 70’s wrote the definitive book on the life and times of the Captain. It’s a warts and all look at a man who was a strong family man, a man who often did things for charity that never went reported and was a great teammate but was also known as someone who would shout at reporters, give the middle finger to the crowd and who could be very insecure at times. It breaks down his troubled early beginnings to his tragic accident and is a incredibly detailed look at the life of this man. As a huge fan of Thurm who carries around a swatch of his uniform in my wallet this was a day one purchase for me but any Yankee fan, or any baseball fan should really pick up this book.