Investigations

Lou Gehrig Autograph

The Case:

An Oregon man has a baseball ticket that bears an autograph "Lou Gehrig" and a scribbled date: July 4th, 1939. The contributor's mother was an avid Yankees fan who regularly paid homage to the team at their home stadium in the Bronx.

The date is one of the most famous in baseball, when Gehrig announced his retirement, stating to a Yankee Stadium crowd of 62,000 that he was "the luckiest man on the face of the earth."

For months, unbeknownst to Gehrig and his fans, he had been suffering the progressive effects of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a degenerative disease that inhibited Gehrig from dominating the baseball field as he had done for so many years.

History Detectives heads to Yankee Stadium and Cooperstown's Baseball Hall of Fame to learn whether this ticket was in fact signed by Lou Gehrig and to explore how the athlete once known as the "Iron Horse" was memorialized by fans and by his own family.


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Aired:
Season 4, Episode 10

Detective:
Gwen Wright Location:
Portland, Oregon

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