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Guest Post – The Movie That Moved Me (by Robert Skead)



In the 1970s, every spring I couldn’t wait for WPIX channel 11 to show the Pride of the Yankees. From the time I first saw it I couldn’t wait to see it again. Back then we had to wait a year to watch a great movie or show air again. The kids today have no idea what delayed gratification means.

I’d see the promo commercial for the coming day and time and I’d be sure to make sure I could watch it. Glove on hand, even as I got older, I loved the story of Lou Gehrig. It touched me. It moved me. It made him one of my favorite players even though I never saw him play.

I loved the opening scene when he smashes the ball over the fence and the ball breaks the window. Later when confronted by the police officer at home, the cop encourages young Lou and says, “That was a mighty wallop” with a wink. I loved that scene.

So much in the story touched my heart. Like when after he meets his soon-to-be wife Eleanor and he trips on the bats and she shouts “Tanglefoot” (which even as a child I knew probably never happened) to when they dance to Irving Berlin’s song “Always”-I even appreciated the romance. In fact that song even founded my own foundation to love – not for just an hour, not for just a day, not for just a year, but always.

Later, when Lou loses his balance due to his illness and falls off the stool while untying his shoes and his teammates don’t interfere out of respect for the man, I appreciated the virtue and values it taught me to not embarrass others.

I remember my eyes being glued to the corner of the screen when Lou is giving his famous speech fixated on Babe Ruth’s face (it was the real Babe Ruth which amazed me) and the image of Ruth’s face moved ever so slightly and seemed to repeat as if something creative happened in the editing room.

The Pride of the Yankees defined who Lou Gehrig was for me. He became one of my all-time favorite Yankees. I’m grateful I can watch the movie whenever I want now and not have to wait for its annual channel 11 showing. Gary Cooper is practically Gehrig to me.

As a baseball card collector I can’t afford a real Lou Gehrig card which breaks my heart. But I enjoy supporting artists. So when I wanted to do something special to commemorate my book Hitting Glory – a baseball bat adventure, which features a story about an alleged Lou Gehrig bat, I hired artist Emily Tester to draw a wonderful image of young Lou. It is one of my treasures. I hope you enjoy it too.

It’s wonderful when movies move us and celebrate true heroes like Lou Gehrig whose courage, valor, devotion and modesty inspire us to live. So tell me, how did The Pride of the Yankees touch your life?

Discover more about Robert Skead at www.robertskead.com

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