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A Single Step Onto the Field
A tribute to Lou Gehrig, by Dennis Baldwin

Gehrig started his career with a single step onto the field. There was nothing flashy in it. He was just another player taking the field. His great accomplishment was in what he did with those steps across a span of thirteen years. He never missed a game during that stretch. More, he peformed at an exceptional level on an amazing team. His teammates included greats like Joe Dimaggio and Babe Ruth. Together, they went to the World Series seven times and won six of them.

"He played well every day despite a broken thumb, a broken toe and back spasms. Later in his career Gehrig's hands were X-rayed, and doctors were able to spot 17 different fractures that had "healed" while Gehrig continued to play."

Gehrig is a wonderful example of a passionate valuer. He knew what he wanted and fought for it no matter what the price.

In the end, a rare disease took him from us too soon. Before he left, he faced a Yankee Stadium crowd of more than 62,000 fans. They had gathered for the express purpose of honoring him and his achievements.

During his speech he referred to himself as "the luckiest man on the face of the earth". That's true when you think that he got to play with extraordinary players like Dimaggio and Ruth and for a Hall of Fame manager like Joe McCarthy. But it wasn't luck that got him out onto the field year in and year out smashing hit after hit despite broken bones. It was passion for excellence.

Gehrig's accomplishment started with a single step onto the field. There was nothing flashy in it. He was just another player taking the field. Let the accomplishments of your life follow his pattern, starting with but a single step into the field of your choosing. Typically, there's nothing flashy in that step. Usually, you're just another player taking the field. But when you do, think of Lou Gehrig...think of him when you feel hurt from one of the many blows our culture can inflict. Think of Gehrig and keep swinging for the fences, keep fighting for excellence...year in and year out.


Copyright 2004: New York Heroes Society, Inc.