Growing up a Yankee fan in the Bronx, I know a little bit about Yankees history. In particular, I know a lot about my favorite all-time Yankee Lou Gehrig. Everyone knows the big numbers – 2,130 straight games played, 493 home runs, 1,995 RBI, a career .340 batting average and a career .447 on base percentage. What everyone might not know is how incredibly shy and humble Gehrig was.
Next to Babe Ruth, everyone seemed humble. However, Gehrig seemed to never realize his own baseball prowess. A classic example is how Ruth forced Gehrig to ask for a raise after his obvious historic play. While Ruth went in to get a raise for the next season several times throughout his career, Gehrig was never sure that he did enough to warrant any more money from the team. He finally received his raise from $8,000 per season to $25,000 per season after 1927 when he hit .373 with 47 home runs and 173 RBI. He also hit 52 doubles and 18 triples that season to give him a .765 slugging and a 1.240 OPS. It is amazing how a man with these numbers can be so humble.
I now live in Orlando, Florida, but went home to visit family in New York City for Christmas. After living so close to so much Gehrig history for my entire childhood, I finally took the time to visit both Gehrig’s home and his final resting place. It turned my trip to see family into a journey I would never forget.