Lou Gehrig’s 1939 KROC Interview Getting National Attention
A 1939 interview on KROC-AM with New York Yankee legend Lou Gehrig is getting some interest this week from various national sources. A story and link to the KROC interview was posted on the Hard Ball Talk/NBC Sports website and on the CBS Sports Radio website in the past couple of days.
On Tuesday night, Damon Amendolara (aka DA) played the entire interview on his CBS Sports Radio Show and then spoke about the historical significance of the interview. Callers to his national show also were amazed by the interview and what Gehrig had to say about the state of the game in 1939.
Just to give you some background, Gehrig was in Rochester while being seen at the Mayo Clinic on August 22, 1939 . It was just seven weeks after he had delivered his infamous "luckiest man alive" speech at Yankee stadium and doctors were trying to diagnose his health issues. He agreed to the interview with KROC's Dwight Merriam as long as the topic was about baseball and not his failing health.
In the interview, Gehrig talked about up-and-coming young players in the game he liked including Ted Williams who was playing for the Minneapolis Millers at the time. He also discussed night baseball, fair criticism of ballplayers by the media and the idea of a players union in the future. It's a fascinating interview, especially when you consider what he was going through with his health. He was more interested in discussing the health of the American past-time.
Gehrig died from complications of ALS on June 2, 1941. That disease would also one day bear his name... Lou Gehrig's Disease.