- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Triumph Books (April 1, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 162937251X
- ISBN-13: 978-1629372518
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Gehrig and the Babe: The Friendship and the Feud Hardcover – April 1, 2018
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"Gracefully written, deeply researched, full of passion, insights and surprising twists. A triumph."
-- Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ira Berkow
-- Jeremy Schaap, ESPN
-- Dino Costa, The Dino Costa Show, AM-970 NYC
"Tony Castro's Gehrig and the Babe: The Friendship and the Feud... shows that the stars had little in common beyond pinstripes and the ability to hit a baseball well and far. Their differing personalities and a disagreement between the women in their lives -- Ruth's wife and Gehrig's mother -- ultimately led to the two not speaking for years."
"A rarely-seen view into the difficult friendship that the two very different Yankees superstars and teammates tried to maintain."
-- Society for American Baseball Research
"... the 'Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid' of baseball books... an inspiring story of love and friendship."
"In Gehrig & the Babe: The Friendship and the Feud (Triumph Books), author Tony Castro describes a relationship more at home on Page Six than in the sports pages. Women, Castro says, doomed the relationship between the two eventual Hall of Famers. The Babe himself admitted it, telling confidant Johnny Grant, 'Most people don't know this, but we had a falling out . . . we didn't talk for years.' Grant asked what was behind it. 'Women,' Ruth said. 'It's always broads.'"
From the Author
Gehrig & Ruth is the first book that explores not only the Ruth-Gehrig relationship during the Yankees' first glory period but also the feud that no one for years wanted to talk about. What was that feud about and who was to blame?
Put the blame squarely on Lou's overbearing mother, Christina Gehrig. She was an overly protective mom who well into Lou's manhood remained the most influential female in his life, setting the stage to ruin all his future relationships with women -- except for the one with Eleanor, the woman he married. And Lou allowed this. Their relationship even bordered on the Oedipal. For crying out loud, Lou would even take his mother to spring training with the Yankees, something no other player did. Christina Gehrig was also a hyper-critical person about other women and made some harsh comments in public about the way Ruth's second wife Claire dressed the Babe's adopted daughter from his first marriage. When this got back to Ruth, he went berserk in a clubhouse scene telling Gehrig in the Babe's anatomically colorful language just what his mother could do with her opinions --and Gehrig and the Babe had to be separated by teammates.
But there was more. Ruth had been already resentful of Gehrig over what he felt had been Lou's betrayal in a contract-negotiating ploy the Babe had concocted. The Babe wanted the two of them to hold out together, figuring they could extract a tremendous contract concession from the Yankees. Gehrig, however, caved in and -- without telling Babe -- signed a new contract for a fraction of what he could have gotten. Ruth was understandably furious.
It all led to a feud that grew so nasty and divisive that in their final year together on the 1934 Yankees, the two men rarely spoke. Often that season, Ruth would homer, circle the bases and arrive at home plate just as the waiting Gehrig -- who followed him in the batting order -- had turned away so as not to shake his hand. The feud was cemented for good during Ruth and Gehrig's final barnstorming trip to Japan after the 1934 season. Claire Ruth and Christina Gehrig continued their increasing verbal exchanges and hostilities over what Mama Gehrig believed to be Claire Ruth's mistreatment of Babe's first daughter. Yes, Lou had taken Mama Ruth to Japan with the barnstorming team.
After Ruth retired in 1935, the two men didn't speak for almost five years -- until the day Gehrig, dying from ALS, was honored at Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939, where he delivered his famous "I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth" speech. There, in an emotionally charged scene, Ruth rushed to Gehrig's side and embraced him -- and they were photographed in that now equally famous photograph of the two of them together again, the Babe's arms locked around Lou's neck.
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I found the chapter on the possible origins of the feud and the chapter on Lou's illness to be the most interesting parts of the book. Gehrig knew the extent of his illness although what others knew, including the Yankees and the fans, is questionable. At least, for the most part, the feud may have been put to rest after five years with the embrace of the two pictured on the book's cover.
The book concludes with Gehrig's Gettysburg Address on July 4, 1939, and Ruth's address on April 27, 1947, along with a letter Gehrig wrote to his wife after he removed himself from the lineup in Detroit.
I did find one error in the book. Page 241 mentions the sportswriter "Richard" Vidmer. His first name, which is often misspelled, is actually Richards. The book contains eight pages of photographs.
The title speaks to the feud between the 2 legends. Aside from Lou being a “ Mama’s Boy”, there wasn’t a great deal of new info re the famous feud
The stories of the two, did make the book an enjoyable/ easy read!