Actress Near Death After Beating; Gehrig in Decline, March 29, 1939
The Times ran a wire story from Florida that polled writers covering the Yankees about Gehrig's status and how it might affect the team's chances. A few days earlier, the paper had published the news that Gehrig was benched in a spring training game, out of the Yankees' lineup for the first time since 1925.
"Gehrig has looked pitifully rusty" in spring training, the Associated Press story said.
The story about the writers was tacky, even considering that no one knew the severity of Gehrig's condition. "I don't think Gehrig has much to do with the Yankees winning. I don't think he helped them an awful lot last year," said Rud Rennie of the New York Herald Tribune.
Gehrig's consecutive games streak would finally end in May when he pulled himself out of the lineup. "The consecutive game record always was meaningless to me and now that I have ended it you newspaper guys will believe me," he said. Asked about his return, Gehrig said he hoped "the arrival of warm weather will enable me to hit my stride."
-- Keith Thursby