AS THE GREATEST pair of sluggers to play together in baseball history, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig helped found the first Yankees dynasty. Together, the two men enjoyed unparalleled fame, all while being thrown together in railroad cars and hotels on the road trips of baseball s long season. How well teammates got along was an important part of every team’s fabric, but none more so than the relationship between the boisterous, fun-loving Babe and the buttoned-down, conservative Gehrig.
Author Tony Castro’s previous book on Yankees history was Mickey Mantle: America’s Prodigal Son (“Heartfelt…Mantle’s story has been told by others, though not with [such] detail.” The New York Times).
It is hard to imagine two ballplayers more different than these two; yet at the height of greatness, they forged a friendship that transcended being teammates. Beyond the Yankees, Ruth and Gehrig would spend much of their time between seasons together, trying to capitalize on their fame by barnstorming, touring, or working the vaudeville circuit.
Tony Castro’s latest exploration of Yankee history looks into the relationship between these two great players and how such intimate friends became separated by the squabbles that can arise from knowing somebody too well for too long. What were the reasons for their falling out? How did their subsequent feud affect Ruth s future? Was it a key element in the Yankees decision to let the Babe leave, never to take up the managerial role he desperately coveted? Years later, only Gehrig s imminent death reconciled the two men.
Beyond the history of Ruth and Gehrig s relationship, Castro explains how they took on a joint role in popular culture that reflected more than just sports fame. Gehrig and the Babe are linked by lore and myth that span generations, not merely as heroic sports figures but as men united by a historic friendship as well.