Just a quick thought or two on the 75th anniversary of Lou Gehrig’s “Luckiest Man” speech. It occurs to me, as I flip through the morning sports channel news – a time consuming exercise on any cable system – that a great part of the elegance of Gehrig’s farewell was what happened immediately after he said goodbye and continued for almost two years until his death: Nothing.
A stoic man said goodbye, left as gracefully as anyone has ever left anything and …. that was it. No days of interviews along with a 24 hour loop of the speech; no hosts of doctors endlessly conjecturing off a few facts; no knee jerk blame tossed arbitrarily; no upset fantasy baseball players; no ‘why didn’t the Yankees trade him before this’ radio chatter . . . no anything. And it wasn’t as if the man moved out to the Mayo Clinic to escape the big city glare, he stayed at his home in Riverdale, a few miles from Yankee Stadium.
Elegant. I’m hoping it still is after the sports nation gets through with it today.
By the way, if you love baseball and think you know a lot about Lou Gehrig but haven’t read Johnathan Eig’s book The Luckiest Man, you don’t.