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Lou Gehrig in Prison

This post is slightly edited from the Hartford Courant from May 18, 1924.

The Aetna Life nine of the Life Insurance Baseball League journeyed to Wethersfield yesterday afternoon and played a seven inning game with a team composed of inmates of the Connecticut State Prison in which the insurance boys won a decisive victory, the final score being 16 to 4.

A similar game was played a year ago and proved such a success in the way of providing amusements for the inmates that Warden Scott arranged with James S. Bush for the Aetna Life Insurance Company to take his boys to Wethersfield again.

Among those of note as guests were Lou Gehrig, Gus Redman, Moose Swaney and Lem Owen of the Hartford Senators. The presence of these four members of Paddy O’Connor’s Senators was brought about as a result of a clamoring desire on the part of the inmates to see Hartford’s youthful fence buster in action.

The local ball players were greeted with tremendous applause as they passed through the gate leading to the playing field. After a little batting practice in which the members of last year’s champs took part, the prison team took the field with their best pitching bet in the box and Gehrig at bat. After two strikes had been called on “Buster,” he lifted the next pitched ball over the northwest section of the prison wall that might have been going yet if the club house of the Wethersfield Yacht Club hadn’t been in the way.

The prisoners went wild with excitement when the big boy did his stuff, giving him a big ovation as the ball cleared the wall with many feet to spare. The point where the sphere sailed over the barrier is 360 feet from the home plate and that was only a little over half way to the spot where the ball came back to earth.

A team was then formed with Gehrig in the box, Redman catching, Swaney at short, Owen at first and Jack Kelleher at the midway station. The other positions were filled by members of the prison. This outfit staged a short exhibition with the prison team. Gehrig flashed a speed ball that had the inmates swinging in vain trying to connect. As they left the field, there was a din of cheering and applause as the inmates of the State Prison paid tribute to the boys whose presence had made the afternoon a howling success.

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