LOU GEHRIG “FAN” CLUB

Kids in Grand Rapids, Michigan thought they would be able to see two of their heroes combined into one. When the Yankees appeared in an exhibition game in that city during May of 1937, young fans planned to see Lou Gehrig, their great baseball idol, and Lou Gehrig, who had taken a screen test for a role as Tarzan in the movies. Although other players interacted with the little fans, Lou was nowhere to be seen before and after the game. Plans for obtaining Lou’s autograph were dashed. His young Michigan fans were beyond disappointed. Their response was to create a Lou Gehrig club, but not one of the typical variety. Twenty-five boys held a meeting, expressed their disapproval, and voted to organize what they styled “We Don’t Want Gehrig’s Autograph Club.” This story was picked up and disseminated throughout the country by the Associated Press, a public relations disaster for Gehrig’s public image. Sportswriters compared Gehrig’s unforced error to the enduring legacy of his former teammate, the great Bambino, one noting, “You never heard of Babe Ruth getting in wrong with the country’s kids, did you?”




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