Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Gehrig Hits His First Grand Slam

On July 23, 1925 New York Yankees great and Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig hits his first of 23 career grand slam home runs.

The 23 grand slams by Gehrig are the most all-time tied with another current Yankee, Alex Rodriguez.

Of current players on the list with most all-time grand slams Rodriguez, 23; Jason Giambi, 15; Travis Hafner, 12; Raul Ibanez, 11; Robinson Cano, 8; Mark Teixeria, 8; Nick Swisher, 7; Lance Berkman, 6; Curtis Granderson, 6; Vernon Wells, 6; Eric Chavez, 5 are on or have played on the Yankees at one point in their career.

Of the players with more than 10 grand slams in their career Jorge Posada, 10; Dave Winfield, 11; Bernie Williams, 11; Tino Martinez, 11; Reggie Jackson, 11; Cecil Fielder, 11; Don Baylor, 13; Gary Sheffield, 13; Joe DiMaggio, 13; Babe Ruth, 16; Dave Kingman, 16 played on the Yankees.

Gehrig goes down as one of the greatest players to ever don the Yankee’s pin-stripes and the nickname “Iron Horse” for the consecutive games played streak had his career cut short by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a disorder now commonly known in the United States and Canada as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Despite the debilitating disease Gehrig finished his career with a .340 batting average, with 493 home runs, 2,721 hits and 1,995 RBIs. He was a seven-time All-Star, a six-time World Series Champion with the Yankees. He also won two MVP awards in 1927 and 1936. He was the Yankees captain from 1935 to 1938 and the Yankees retired his no. 4 jersey on July 4, 1939. He became the first baseball player to have his uniform number retired on January 6, 1940; his July 4, 1939 farewell to baseball speech, fans voted as the fifth-greatest moment in Major League Baseball history in 2002.

Gehrig won a triple crown in 1934 batting .363 with 49 home runs and 165 RBIs, but did not win the MVP award that year. He became the only player in MLB history to collect 400 total bases in five seasons as he did so in 1927, 1930, 1931, 1934 and 1936.

With St. Louis Cardinals great Stan Musial, he is only one of two players with at least 500 doubles, 150 triples and 450 home runs in his career. He is also only one of four players with Babe Ruth, Ted Williams and Musial to end career with a minimum .330 batting average with 450 home runs and 1,800 RBIs. He is also only one of two players to hit 40 doubles and 40 home runs in the same season three separate times.

Gehrig was named a member of the MLB All-Century team in 1999, MLB All-Time team in 1997 and was inducted into Cooperstown’s Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939 through a special election.
Gehrig was also the first athlete ever to appear on a box of Wheaties.