Lou Gehrig swinging at a pitch, ca. 1937
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This black and white photograph shows Lou Gehrig in his number four jersey at bat, mid-swing. Behind him is the catcher, number 26, and out of focus roughly sixty feet in the distance is the pitcher. The photograph was taken for a May 1937 Boys' Life "Keeping Physically Fit" article written by Charles Ward Crampton that examined Lou Gehrig's swing and training. The photograph is part of a series of 13 photographs, many of which were used in the article, documenting his swing that held in the C. Ward Crampton Papers collection. At this point, this is the only photograph that has been digitized. Many of the photographs were used in the Boy's Life article. Henry Louis Gehrig (June 19, 1903 – Jun 2, 1941) was born in Manhattan and played seventeen seasons of Major League Baseball for the New York Yankees. He set several major league records, including the most career grand slams (tied by Alex Rodriguez in 2012), and most consecutive games played (surpassed by Cal Ripken, Jr.). Gehrig is chiefly remembered for his prowess as a hitter, his durability, and the pathos of his farewell from baseball, when he was stricken with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Gehrig was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939, and in 1969 he was voted the greatest first baseman of all time by the Baseball Writers' Association. His jersey number was the first to be retired in professional sports. From 1934 to 1937, Crampton regularly wrote columns for the Boy Scouts of America’s magazine Boys’ Life. Charles Ward Crampton was a physician, medical researcher, and teacher. Born in New York City, he attended the College of the City of New York, New York University, and in 1900 graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. His major contributions to the medical field include work with geriatrics and gerontology, adolescent hygiene and physical fitness, posture, and blood pressure and circulatory systems. He created what is today known as the Crampton Test or the Crampton Test for Fatal Shock, which measures the physical condition and resistance of one’s pulse and blood pressure in the resting and standing positions. Crampton was a major in the U.S. Army Medical Reserve and acted as Special Adviser to the U.S. Department of the East during World War I. Crampton was a strong advocate of preventative medicine and the maintenance of a personal medical record by individuals, and served as Chairman of the Committee on Physical Fitness through the Federal Security Agency, Chairman of the Committee on the Health of Adolescents, and the chairman for the sub-committee on Geriatrics and Gerontology through the medical society of New York County. Boys’ Life is the monthly magazine of the Boy Scouts of America and is still in circulation. Its target demographic is males between the ages of 6 and 18. Boys’ Life was founded in 1911 by George S. Barton of Somerville, Massachusetts. In 1912, the Boy Scouts of America purchased the magazine for six thousand dollars.
The edges are worn. The left and right sides are faded, although this could have been the photographer purposefully dodging while developing the photograph. There are a few creases along the top edge from paperclips; There are also measurements in the back indicating where the photograph should be cropped for the Boys' Life article.
|Springfield College Archives and Special Collections|
|Boys' Life (The Boy Scouts of America)|
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- Chicago citation style
- Lou Gehrig swinging at a pitch, ca. 1937. 1937. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America, http://cdm16122.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15370coll2/id/2356. (Accessed June 22, 2018.)
- APA citation style
- (1937) Lou Gehrig swinging at a pitch, ca. 1937. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America, http://cdm16122.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15370coll2/id/2356
- MLA citation style
- Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America <http://cdm16122.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15370coll2/id/2356>.