Lou Gehrig was and remains my sports hero. By the time he retired in 1939, the Columbia University graduate displayed exceptional stamina (he played in 2,130 consecutive games, whether fit or injured, between 1925 and 1939). He epitomized the dignified athlete and didn’t mind playing second fiddle to Babe Ruth while setting baseball records for decades hence. He hit in the clutch. Not a natural athlete, the “Iron Horse” perfected, with relentless, punishing practice, his fielding at first base.

This article appeared in the August 15-22, 2011 edition of The Nation. See The Sports Issue: Views From Left Field.


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