Lou Gehrig Memorial Award Created


From the November 1954 edition of The Scroll

Phi Delta Theta has established an annual award in memory of Lou Gehrig, Columbia ’25. Each year a young major leaguer will receive a citation as the player who best exemplifies the sportsmanship qualities of the late great New York Yankee first baseman, it was announced at the Biennial Convention at Mackinac Island in September.

To middle-aged and older alumni who remember his active career, the name of Gehrig stands for all that is great about the national pastime. To present active members, Gehrig perhaps is only a legend. But more about him later.

The first such award will not be made until after the conclusion of the 1955 season, and the time and place of the award will be announced later.

The idea for a Lou Gehrig award came from Chads O. Skinner, Ohio Wesleyan ’27. It was passed on to the General Council, which unanimously approved the proposal during a meeting in Oxford in the summer of 1953.

George Trautman, Ohio State 1914, president of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, accepted the invitation of Brother Paul Beam to head a committee of Phi members who will make the award.

Serving with Brother Trautman are Charles Berry, Lafayette ’25, American League umpire; Powel Crosley Jr., Cincinnati 1909, president of the Cincinnati Baseball Co.; Elijah ‘Bill’ Cunningham, Dartmouth 1919, sports columnist, the Boston Herald; Dr. Frederick L. Hovde, Minnesota ’29, president of Purdue University; Glenn ‘Ted’ Mann, Duke ’31, sports publicity director, Duke University; Herold ‘Muddy’ Ruel, Washington University 1921, general manager of the Detroit Tigers; Chads O. Skinner, Ohio Wesleyan ’27, the United States Steel Corp., New York City; Wilfrid Smith, DePauw 1919, sports writer, the Chicago Tribune; Frank Wright, Florida ’26, public relations consultant, Miami, Florida; and Gilson Wright, Ohio Wesleyan ’30, director of the news bureau, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.

The name of the annual winner would be entered on a permanent plaque which will remain in the international offices of the Fraternity. Brother Gehrig died June 2, 1941, after a great baseball career.

He was chosen as most valuable player in the American League in 1927 and 1936. He established a record never approached of playing the most consecutive games in the history of the major leagues—a total of 2,130 games beginning June 1, 1925, and ending May 2, 1939.

During that Golden Era, the New York Yankees won the American League championship eight times, including the 1939 season when Gehrig retired from the game.

He was a tremendous hitter and was second only to the great Babe Ruth, a teammate. His great ability, both at the plate and in the field, won him election to the Baseball Hall of Fame.