Lou Gehrig came to spring training in 1934 in the prime of a career that would be cut short by a fatal illness seven years later. He had turned 30 during the previous season and married against his protective mother’s wishes six months earlier.
In 1933, he had broken the big league record for most consecutive games played, a streak that began in 1925 and increased his celebrity. With Babe Ruth in decline, Gehrig was becoming the new face of the Yankees.
As he arrived at St. Petersburg, photographers began snapping away. Our RMY Auctions Photo of the Day shows Gehrig taking a mighty cut in the batter’s box, hoping to sweat off a little of Eleanor’s off-season cooking.
In short, the spring showed Gehrig was at the top of his game. The caption relates “Lou says he’s all set to win the batting championship this season”. In fact, he would win the Triple Crown, leading the American League with 49 homers, 165 RBI and a .363 average.
The 7×9 photo rates 4.5 out of 5, showing limited wear. The photo captures a much simpler, more fan-friendly spring training experience with a small backstop behind Gehrig and no fences separating onlookers from the famous pinstriped players preparing for a new season.
Gehrig photos are highly coveted by collectors. This is one of more than 200 vintage news photographs up for bid in the monthly RMY Auction that closes December 10. Click here to register and/or bid.