Researcher Uncovers Rare Video Footage of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig (Video)
Today just about every sporting event is televised, and just about every fan at every event has a high definition video camera in their pocket. Nobody is ever going to wonder what it was really like to watch LeBron James or Albert Pujols. There’s an abundance of footage.
That’s not the case with sports legends from the first half of the 20th century. Back then they didn’t have motion picture cameras at every game, because taking motion pictures was costly and difficult. Thus, footage of superstars like Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig is rare, and ever rarer is footage from significant moments in their careers.
That’s what makes the recent discovery by Tom Shieber, head curator for the National Baseball Hall of Fame, so fantastic. While looking through the Fox Movietone archive at the University of South Carolina’s moving image library, he came across some candid footage of Yankees Hall of Famers Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. And the best part is that the footage is from the Yankees’ game against the Washington Senators on June 1, 1925.
What’s so special about that game on June 1, 1925? On that day, Lou Gehrig, then just a 22-year-old rookie, pinch hit for shortstop Pee Wee Wanninger. After that, he didn’t miss a game until May 1, 1939, setting his ironman streak of 2,130 games, which lasted until 1995.
The Fox Movietone camera wasn’t there to capture the first game of Gehrig’s streak, of course. Who could have predicted that? Instead, they were there to shoot footage of Babe Ruth, who was making his season debut after missing 41 games with a mysterious stomach ailment known as “the bellyache heard ’round the world.”
Below is the footage in question, courtesy of the New York Times. While a jovial Ruth stands at the front of the dugout, holding court, a rather relaxed-looking Gehrig reclines in the background, taking it all in. Take a look:
Hat Tip – [New York Times]