Cover image for The ashes of Lou Gehrig and other baseball essays
The ashes of Lou Gehrig and other baseball essays
Kirst, Sean Peter.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., [2003]

Physical Description:
xv, 230 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
General Note:
"The essays published herein were originally published in the Syracuse post-standard"--T.p. verso.

Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV873 .K57 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The parents and widow of Lou Gehrig were so concerned about the potential desecration of his grave that they considered moving his ashes to the Hall of Fame. Officials embraced the idea of creating a mausoleum for baseball greats, but the idea was killed by Gehrig's wife--whose cryptic remarks leave us wondering to this day about the disposition of his remains. Kirst's essay on Gehrig's ashes and numerous other essays are put together from dozens of personal interviews with baseball characters. Babe Dahlgren claims he was blacklisted for rumors of marijuana use; Babe Ruth sends a note to a child stricken with polio--a note nearly lost when the family moved, and the first physical confirmation obtained by the Hall of Fame of the slugger's legendary kindness to children; a black cat is brought to the ballpark as a gesture of contempt when Jackie Robinson plays against Syracuse, a team he felt treated him as badly as any in the International League. The collection contains new information about the father of baseball card collecting, about a bat company whose accomplishments were lost in baseball lore, and about the murder trial of the first African American to play in the Major Leagues. Beautifully written, filled with fresh facts and revelations, these essays will appeal.

Author Notes

Sean Peter Kirst, a columnist and sportswriter, lives in Syracuse, New York

Table of Contents

Harold Holzer
Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Forewordp. xiii
Prefacep. 1
Prologuep. 5
I. Among the Immortals
1. The Ashes of Lou Gehrig 9/27/95p. 8
2. Ty Cobb's Violent Legacy 4/14/95p. 13
3. The Memory That Ruth Built 2/8/95p. 20
4. Babe Was a Smash in Syracuse 9/7/98p. 23
5. A Baseball History Lesson 5/7/92p. 25
6. Former Chief, 79, Waits for Justice 4/21/92p. 27
7. Baseball Makes Immortal a Man, a Romance, an Era 7/28/94p. 30
8. World Series Finally Rings True for Buckner 5/13/93p. 35
9. Baseball History Lofts a Line at a Regular Guy 6/28/94p. 37
10. Bouton's Book Told Sad Tale of Mantle 4/18/94p. 40
11. Now, More Than Ever, a Hero 6/12/95p. 44
12. Fanfare for an Uncommon Man 1/4/97p. 46
13. The Next Pitch Will Have to Wait 8/14/95p. 48
14. A Mantle Memory: Against All Odds 8/15/95p. 51
15. Sal Maglie Lies Isolated from the World, But Not Alone 11/26/95p. 54
16. Finding Peace in Images of War 6/5/95p. 57
17. Old Syracuse Buddies Remember Luciano 1/20/95p. 59
18. Chiefs Fan Grins, Bears Pain 8/18/94p. 62
II. Black Cat
19. The Worst of Being First 2/1/96p. 66
20. Syracuse Faces an Ugly Legacy from the Robinson Era 4/21/97p. 70
21. The Fight Continues, But Some Players Stay in the Dugout 12/15/92p. 73
22. The Trials of Fleet Walker 2/28/94p. 76
23. Tested in Triple-A, Campanella Stood Tall 7/3/93p. 82
24. Imagine Life as a Cartoon's Descendant 7/10/93p. 85
25. Dropping "Chiefs" Would Heal Old Sore 6/3/96p. 87
26. Baseball Settles a Deep Debt 8/13/91p. 89
27. Clear Voices from the Past 8/1/94p. 92
28. Baseball Celebrates; Something's Missing 7/29/95p. 94
29. No Barrier on the Basepaths 7/18/95p. 98
30. Team Leader Accepts No Excuses 7/4/95p. 100
III. Vanished from the Game
31. A One-of-a-Kind Collector Gets His Due 6/30/93p. 104
32. Scooter's Memories on Display at the Met 6/30/93p. 108
33. Decades Later, a Friendship has been Chiseled in Stone 11/24/97p. 110
34. Patches of the Past 7/9/96p. 112
35. After 27 Summers, Suddenly It Will Become Fall 2/17/93p. 115
36. Cut from a Family Tree 10/25/95p. 117
37. Joe Kren Does One Last Job for His Dad 6/16/2000p. 121
38. Hobart Takes a Designated Hit 5/8/95p. 124
39. Night Series Steals from Young 10/25/2000p. 126
40. Take Me Out of Prime Time 11/3/2001p. 128
IV. One Old Ballpark
41. An Era Comes to an End at Big Mac 12/18/91p. 133
42. Bloody Day Echoes in Beanball Wars 2/28/94p. 134
43. Bailes Takes the Final Ride 6/3/93p. 136
44. "Coroner" Captures Big Mac 8/19/96p. 138
45. Rochester's Stadium Passing into Memory 8/15/96p. 140
46. Youngsters Have a Ball by Homer Heaven 4/13/94p. 143
47. Staring at the Barrel of a Smoking Gun 8/13/93p. 145
48. "Mr. Everything" Has Nothing Nice to Say About Big Mac 4/8/92p. 147
49. Feisty Center Fielder Sparked Great Team 4/8/94p. 151
50. Phantom at Plate Awaits Call Up 10/31/94p. 153
51. From Ashes to Ashes 7/30/94p. 154
52. Simone Sees His Dream 7/10/95p. 156
53. Creaky Old Ball Park Worthy of Our Affection 9/2/96p. 158
V. The Year with No October
54. They're Not Having a Ball in the Hall 10/13/94p. 162
55. Strike Puts Hearts on Hold 8/12/94p. 163
56. There's a Place in History for Scabs 2/20/95p. 166
57. Baseball Strike? It Works for Us 9/6/94p. 168
58. The Kid Likes a Good Fight 9/7/94p. 169
59. Baseball's Enduring Grip 4/13/95p. 172
VI. Their Own Kind of Valhalla
60. If Walls Could Talk, You'd Hear His Name 4/3/97p. 176
61. Day Off Rates an A-Plus 4/9/99p. 178
62. A Pocket of Frustration: Foreigners in Our Mitts 12/18/91p. 180
63. Challenger Stars Light Up P&C Stadium 8/5/98p. 182
64. End of the Innocence Is in the Cards 5/28/92p. 184
65. The Bear Beats the Odds 5/19/93p. 186
66. Auburn's Foul Balls Land in Forbidden Territory 4/26/95p. 188
67. Cianfrocco Dreams Up a Fall Classic 10/2/96p. 190
68. Big Man of the Little League 8/24/96p. 192
69. Mother's Voice Guides Player 5/13/95p. 196
70. A Runner Who Can't Get Home 10/8/2000p. 198
71. A Player, a Coach, a Lover of the Game 6/4/94p. 205
72. His Latest Case Hits Close to Home 12/1/97p. 209
73. Johnny Does It All 11/1/97p. 211
74. A Glove a Boy Will Love May 2001p. 215
75. Ball Field Heroes Pay Respects to the Real Thing 10/19/2001p. 217
Epiloguep. 221
Indexp. 223