From the Lighter Side: Lou Gehrig and Kids!

From the Lighter Side: Lou Gehrig and Kids!

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Lou Gehrig Photo Gallery
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 Let’s Stay A Little Longer “On the Lighter Side”…

We always hear a lot about Babe Ruth with kids…but how about Lou Gehrig?

My post the other day about the two little guys playing baseball in the 1950’s go me thinking about ball players and kids. Of course, the “king” of this category has to be Babe Ruth. 

Part of the reason the Babe became such a beloved national figure was by always making himself available for children. Having spent much of his youth in an orphanage, he had a natural affinity for kids. Baseball fans in the 1920’s and ‘30’s sensed his love for kids was genuine and unpretentious. His home run for “Little Johnny Sylvester” in the 1926 World Series became the stuff of legend. It’s a part of baseball’s most treasured lore.

But Lou Gehrig was no slouch when it came to children either. Often overshadowed by Ruth on the field, he was no match for the beloved Babe in this department either.  But who was?  Although Lou never had any children of his own, he was also known for his kindness towards kids and willingness to share his time with them, too.

The wonderful featured photo below is taken from the George Brace collection. Brace photographed Lou in 1934 with children who had won a national contest sponsored by a creamery. One can only imagine the tremendous thrill these kids experienced being photographed with the great “Iron Horse.” I’m sure it’s a moment they never forgot. Here’s the caption I found with the photo:

“Lou Gehrig was George Brace’s favorite player.  ‘He was a quiet man. He never volunteered much of anything,’ Brace says. ‘But if you approached him, he would talk for hours.’ Brace’s collection includes a dozen other photographs showing the kindness Gehrig exhibited toward each child.”

I love the young lad in the top row center with the glasses. He looks like a character right out of an “Our Gang” episode.  Oops!…I almost forgot. You young guys reading this probably don’t know what the “Our Gang” series was. Maybe there’s someone you know, a bit, shall we say? – older – you can ask!

Gary Livacari

Featured photo and caption from the George Brace Baseball Photo Collection. Others found on Google search; Colorized photo in the gallery by Don Stokes:

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I'm a baseball historian who also loves to write. My forte is identifying ballplayers in old photos, and my specail interest is the Dead Ball Era.

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