Though perhaps he was not “the luckiest man on the face of the Earth” merely for his days in Hartford, Lou Gehrig‘s time spent manning first base for the Senators was arguably the most storied in franchise history. Prior to ascending to the Majors stage with the Bronx Bombers, Gehrig spent time in Hartford on three separate occasions, displaying the skills and mental fortitude that would one day make him a Hall of Fame baseball player and national hero.Gehrig made his first professional baseball appearance as a member of the Hartford Senators, while still enrolled in college at Columbia University. Of course, any official score sheets from the time would indicate a strikingly similar ball player by the name of “Lou Lewis” to be taking the field, as collegiate rules stipulate players must maintain their amateur status. Gehrig’s first tenure with the team would last merely two weeks, with Columbia quickly learning of their soon-to-be star player’s off season antics. As a result, Gehrig was declared ineligible for a full season at Columbia, though Gehrig would return to the minor league baseball ranks only one summer later without penalty.When Gehrig did finally suit of for Columbia, during his one and only year with the team in 1923, he played a role unfamiliar with fans from his Yankee days, starting pitcher. His one season was all it took to attract the professional scouts, finding similar success for Columbia off the mound that would come to be synonymous with his prolific big league playing days, striking out 17 batters in a single game, a school record that would stand for 5 decades. Wielding similar prowess with the bat, Gehrig set the record for longest home run at Columbia’s South Field as well, launching a towering shot that bounced off the far away library steps. Gehrig signed with the Yankees the following season, dropping out of college, and the rest is baseball history.
Famous Senators, Hartford Senators
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