Synopses & Reviews
The definitive account of the life and tragic death of baseball legend Lou Gehrig.andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Lou Gehrig was a baseball legendand#8212;the Iron Horse, the stoic New York Yankee who was the greatest first baseman in history, a man whose consecutive-games streak was ended by a horrible disease that now bears his name. But as this definitive new biography makes clear, Gehrigand#8217;s life was more complicatedand#8212;and, perhaps, even more heroicand#8212;than anyone really knew.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;Drawing on new interviews and more than two hundred pages of previously unpublished letters to and from Gehrig, andlt;Iandgt;Luckiest Manandlt;/Iandgt; gives us an intimate portrait of the man who became an American hero: his life as a shy and awkward youth growing up in New York City, his unlikely friendship with Babe Ruth (a friendship that allegedly ended over rumors that Ruth had had an affair with Gehrigand#8217;s wife), and his stellar career with the Yankees, where his consecutive-games streak stood for more than half a century. What was not previously known, however, is that symptoms of Gehrigand#8217;s affliction began appearing in 1938, earlier than is commonly acknowledged. Later, aware that he was dying, Gehrig exhibited a perseverance that was truly inspiring; he lived the last two years of his short life with the same grace and dignity with which he gave his now-famous and#8220;luckiest manand#8221; speech.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;Meticulously researched and elegantly written, Jonathan Eigand#8217;s andlt;Iandgt;Luckiest Manandlt;/Iandgt; shows us one of the greatest baseball players of all time as weand#8217;ve never seen him before.
andlt;iandgt;"Luckiest Manandlt;/iandgt; is a first-class biography, thoroughly researched and nimbly written....If Gehrig's 'luckiest man' speech offered fans a glimpse into his character, Eig's Luckiest Man pushes the door wide open." andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; -- Bill Syken, andlt;iandgt;Sports Illustratedandlt;/iandgt;
"A wonderful book."
-- Cal Ripken Jr.
is now the definitive life of Gehrig."
-- Henry Kisor, Chicago Sun-Times
andlt;iandgt;"Luckiest Manandlt;/iandgt; stands in the first rank of sports biographies." andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; -- Kevin Baker, andlt;iandgt;The New York Times Book Reviewandlt;/iandgt;
"As my consecutive games streak grew, my curiosity about Lou Gehrig also grew and I wanted to learn more about him and what kind of person he was. Jonathan Eig's book, Luckiest Man,
really helped me put all of the pieces together and gain a solid understanding of Lou, both on and off the field. I thought it was a wonderful book that provided insights about Lou, his amazing life and outstanding career."
-- Cal Ripken, Jr.
"This is a book for Yankee fans, baseball fans, and anyone who wants to read about a man whose determination and heroism inspire us today."
-- Rudolph W. Giuliani
"Jonathan Eig's portrait of Lou Gehrig is as elegant, understated, and powerful as the Iron Man himself."
-- Jane Leavy, author of Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy
"With splendid results, Jonathan Eig separates fact from fantasy in his stirring portrait of an athlete dying young. The Lou Gehrig he presents is more subtle, nuanced, and indeed more neurotic than the stiff, cardboard figure we previously knew. All of which makes Gehrig¹s tragic final struggle more moving and profound. A wonderful book."
-- Roger Kahn, author of The Boys of Summer
"The ancient maxim 'Never get to know your heroes' does not apply to Lou Gehrig, the tragic Yankee whose life is so deftly and thoroughly examined by Jonathan Eig in this superb biography."
-- Fay Vincent, former commissioner, Major League Baseball
"A wonderful book." andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; -- Cal Ripken Jr.
andlt;iandgt;"Luckiest Manandlt;/iandgt; is now the definitive life of Gehrig." andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt; -- Henry Kisor, andlt;iandgt;Chicago Sun-Timesandlt;/iandgt;
Every baseball fan is familiar with Lou Gehrig. He was the Iron Horse, the New York Yankee who never missed a game in his life until he was too ill to play at all, a man whose astounding career was cut short by a horrible disease that is now named for him. But as this definitive new biography makes clear. Gehrig's life was more complicated--and, perhaps, even more heroic--than anyone really knew. While researching Luckiest Man, Jonathan Eig interviewed hundreds of people (including thirty-three former ballplayer who played with or against Gehrig), examined the archives of the Baseball Hall of Fame, and--most importantly-- unearthed nearly 200 pages of correspondence to and from Gehrig, none of which has ever been published, Luckiest Man is full of surprises. We learn the truth about the rumored sexual infidelity that lay behind the rift between Gehrig and Babe Ruth: that the symptoms of Gehrig's affliction began appearing as early as the spring of 1938, earlier than is commonly acknowledged: that the Iron Horse's own doctors lied to him about his chances (though Eleanor, Gehrig's wife, was told the grim truth); and how Gehrig lived the last two years of his short life. Including the glorious moments of Gehrig's singular career and a dugout's-eye view of one of the greatest sports dynasties in history, this is a book that no baseball fan will soon forget.
Drawing on hundreds of new interviews and previously unpublished letters, this authoritative, comprehensive biography of New York Yankee Lou Gehrig--the "Iron Horse"--reveals one of the greatest baseball players of all time as readers have never seen him before. 40 photos.
About the Author
andlt;bandgt;Jonathan Eig andlt;/bandgt;is a former writer and editor for the Chicago bureau of andlt;iandgt;The Wall Street Journal andlt;/iandgt;and the former executive editor of andlt;iandgt;Chicago andlt;/iandgt;magazine. He is the author of two highly acclaimed bestsellers, andlt;iandgt;Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig andlt;/iandgt;and andlt;iandgt;Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinsonand#8217;s First Season. Luckiest Man andlt;/iandgt;won the Casey Award for best baseball book of 2005, and andlt;iandgt;Opening Day andlt;/iandgt;was selected as one of the best books of 2007 by the andlt;iandgt;Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, andlt;/iandgt;and andlt;iandgt;Sports Illustrated. andlt;/iandgt;Mr. Eig lives in Chicago, half a mile from the site of the St. Valentineand#8217;s Day Massacre, with his family.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The Survivor
Chapter 2: "Babe" Gehrig
Chapter 3: At Columbia
Chapter 4: The Behemoth of Bing
Chapter 5: Goodbye, Mr. Pipp
Chapter 6: Coming of Age
Chapter 7: Sinner and Saint
Chapter 8: Barnstorming Days
Chapter 9: A Charmed Life
Chapter 10: The Crash
Chapter 11: Iron Horse
Chapter 12: Courtship
Chapter 13: Out of the Shadows
Chapter 14: A Night at the Opera
Chapter 15: The Next Big Thing
Chapter 16: Lord of the Jungle
Chapter 17: Strange Times
Chapter 18: The Longest Summer
Chapter 19: Like a Match Burning Out
Chapter 20: Last Chance
Chapter 21: Pitchers Once Feared His Bat
Chapter 22: The Bitter with the Sweet
Chapter 23: Luckiest Man
Chapter 24: The Bureaucrat
Chapter 25: Our Boy Is Pretty Discouraged
Chapter 26: He Was Baseball
Appendix: Lou Gehrig's Career Statistics