Hartford would be Lou Gehrig‘s first taste of professional baseball, however, as any fan moderately well-versed in Major League Baseball history should know, it was far from his last. Playing in more consecutive games than any player of his time, Gehrig endeared himself to fans nationwide, despite playing for the largely hated New York Yankees. Gehrig first made his major league debut for the Yanks in mid-June of 1923, though the boys in pinstripes were fairly acquainted with his thunderous bat long before his first game. Batting practice saw Gehrig show off for his new teammates blasting deep fly balls into Yankee Stadium territory only Ruth could reach. Though the promise was there right off the bat, literally, the young Gehrig still needed a little more seasoning before taking his game to New York full time. He spent a lot of time with the Senators throughout the 1923 and 1924 seasons, tightening up on his fundamentals while wowing minor league crowds with his paramount power.Gehrig would finally receive a permanent call-up in August of 1924, just in time for a late season push in which Gehrig proved to be an asset out of the dugout as a pinch-hitter. The 1925 season marked Gehrig’s first regular playing time as a starter, pinch-hitting for shortstop Pee Wee Wanninger on June 1, 1925, the day before starting in place of Wally Pipp. So began the first 2 games of baseball’s original Iron Man streak, spanning 2,130 games played without a day off over the course of the next 14 seasons. Gehrig’s days as a fixture in Yankee pinstripes would have perhaps continued even longer were it not for his debilitating illness, known now as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Gehrig’s Iron Man record would eventually be broken by Cal Ripken Jr. on September 6, 1995, though his big league legacy lives on. In 1999, Lou Gehrig received the most fan votes on his way towards being named to Major League Baseball’s All-Century Team, reminding the baseball world that “The Iron Horse” may be gone, but will never be forgotten.
Famous Senators, Hartford Senators
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