Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth, with noticeable accents and lack of comedic timing, performed a comedy segment after the legendary
1927 season "for the phonograph." It was approximately six minutes of entertainment. The funniest thing, however, about this
skit is not the jokes but the idiosyncrasies of each man. While Ruth tended to slur words and correct himself mid-sentence
(which made transcribing this segment a picnic during a lightning storm), Gehrig's voice tended to get higher in pitch the
longer the sentence was. Neither is very snappy in his delivery, as happens when non-actors try to read lines as if they're
not reading at all. Regardless, this segment is an interesting piece of Gehrig nostalgia and an essential piece in understanding
Gehrig as more than a workhorse.
And for the audio version of this segment, visit http://www.thedeadballera.com
LG: Hello, Babe.
LG: You know me, don't you, Babe?
BR: I can't remember your face but your shadow is very familiar.
LG: I'm Lou Gehrig. Now do you remember me?
BR: Remember you? After the past summer I'll never forget you.
LG: It's funny you didn't recognize me right away. I played on the same team with you all season.
BR: Yes, but you were so close to me I was afraid to look back to see who you were.
LG: I gave you a great race, didn't I, Babe?
BR: Oh, you ran me ragged. Listen, Lou, how did you get to socking homeruns?
LG: It was like this: I watched you and read how much money you were making, and I got to thinking--
BR: Thinking? With what?
LG: Never mind about with what! I went to college, Columbia in fact. You've heard of Columbia, haven't you?
BR: Sure, that's the college entirely surrounded with delicatessens, stores, and Yankee scouts. How many years did you
go to college?
LG: I was 7 years in the freshmen class.
BR: They can't keep a guy 7 years in the same class.
LG: That's what I tried to tell them.
BR: What good did college do you? I didnt go to college and look at me. I got further than you did.
LG: I know, but only 6 or 7 homeruns further. Im young yet, give me a chance. Say, Babe, no fooling, you were my hero when
I was in college.
BR: Why did you have to pick on me?
LG: You shouldn't be sore, Babe. There's room for both of us in baseball.
BR: Tell that to the enemy pitchers.
LG: Do you remember when I first reported to the Yanks, Babe?
BR: [laughs] Do I? You were so green the groundskeepers tried to go over you with a rake.
LG: I was just a raw student.
BR: I don't know anything about the student part of it, but I'll tell the world you were raw. As a matter of fact, the
first day you reported, I didn't see your face at all. I couldn't keep my eyes off your feet.
LG: What was the matter with my feet?
BR: They were so big I thought you were standing in a couple of troughs. Is there any truth in the story that you sell
old shoes for bungalows?
LG: Oh, never mind my feet!
BR: I don't mind them, if you don't.
LG: You're no Apollo Belvedere (*) yourself.
BR: No who?
LG: Apollo Belvedere. You know who Apollo Belvedere was, don't you, Babe?
BR: He's one of those new Washington pitchers, ain't he?
LG: Jeepers, you're dumb, Babe!
BR: Hey, listen, Big Feet, don't you call anybody dumb. When you first joined the Yanks you were so dumb we had to number
all the players so you could find out which side you played on.
LG: Gee, was I that bad?
BR: Lou, I don't want to be hard on you. You're a good kid, and I like you. But you were so dumb you thought the St. Louis
Cardinals were appointed by the Church. When Huggins told us we were to meet the Senators, you thought we were going into
politics. You thought that inside baseball was played in the house.
LG: You ain't so smart either. Say, Babe, tell me something. Is it true that you eat 20 hot dogs during a baseball game?
BR: That's one of those fool lies. Why, 20 hot dogs during a game would kill any man.
LG: I know it.
BR: A man who would eat 20 hot dogs is a pig during a ball game.
LG: Of course he would.
BR: Well, you didn't really see that of me, did you, Lou?
LG: Of course not. How many do you eat during a ball game, Babe?
LG: Say, Babe, you've taken off quite a bit of weight in the past four years.
BR: Look at my figure, kid.
LG: All you've got to do now is to diet for 10 or 15 more years and you'll almost look human.
BR: Boy, I'm terrible at what I eat these days.
LG: Listen, Babe, you have a farm where you grow your own food, don't you?
BR: Yes, I have a farm.
LG: Is it a nice farm?
BR: Well, it better be or I'm out a lot of money.
LG: What do you raise there?
BR: A lot of things. Celery, for instance.
LG: Really? You raise celery?
BR: Of course. What's the surprise?
LG: I thought Colonel Ruppert was the fellow that always raised your celery.
BR: I said celery, not salary. You know what celery is, don't you?
LG: Sure I do. I had a roommate once who used to keep me awake all night eating it in bed.
BR: You and the China automobile.
LG: Say, Babe, speaking of automobiles, what's the matter with you lately? You haven't hit anybody with your automobile.
BR: It's getting harder and harder. There are too many motorists after the same jaywalker these days.
LG: And I haven't read of your being arrested for speeding lately either.
BR: I found a way to avoid that.
BR: When a policeman stops me, I autograph the car and give it to him as a souvenir.
LG: Gee, it must be great to get a half a million dollars a year like you do.
BR: Money isn't everything, Lou.
LG: That's what Colonel Ruppert said when I asked him for a raise.
BR: In this game, Lou, you must start from the bottom and work up.
LG: Say, Babe, why did you start your baseball life as a pitcher?
BR: In those days I thought a man should work for a living.
LG: Gee, what a great year the Yanks had this season.
BR: Not so good.
LG: What do you mean not so good?
BR: We lost a couple of games, didn't we?
LG: Yeah, I guess that one when I wasn't hitting. I've got to practice up this winter and bat better.
BR: If you bat any better next year, I'll put nails in your breakfast food. Listen, Lou, did it ever occur to you that
you get a great break batting after me?
LG: How come?
BR: A pitcher is under a great strain when pitching to me. And after I sock a homerun, he doesn't need any more for you
LG: Is that so? And how about the effect on a pitcher when you've nearly broken your back swinging like a gate and struck
out by a mile? He ain't so nervous facing the fellows who come up after you then, is he?
BR: Even when I strike out, I do it so hard that I scare the pitcher to death.
LG: No matter how you cut that stuff it's still bologna. Why, as a matter of fact, you get the break.
LG: When you go to bat, the pitcher always knows that I'm up next. What's the result? He's so nervous he puts one right
where anybody could knock it out of the lot.
BR: Now I'll tell one.
LG: All joking aside, Babe, what is the secret of your homerun hitting? How do you stand when you hit the ball?
BR: I stood flat on both feet until you came along.
LG: And now what?
BR: You have me on my toes.
LG: Well, I'm going to keep you there too.
BR: Say, kid, lay off of that big-mouth stuff.
LG: I didn't mean anything personal, Babe.
BR: OK, Lou. I've got to be beating it along now.
LG: So have I. You know, we've been talking for the phonograph. You don't suppose you've broken the record, do you?
BR: Between the two of us we've broken all kinds of records. Say good-bye to the folks.
LG: Good-bye. See you all next season.
BR: How will they know you when they see you?
LG: They'll know you, won't they?
BR: Of course they'll know me.
LG: Well, wherever they see you they'll know I'm the guy that's right on your heels.
BR and LG: So long, folks!
Now that you've read it, do you want to hear it? Find this segment in the audio vault of http://www.thedeadballera.com
(*) Translation: "You're no vision of beauty" - the Apollo Belvedere is a famous marble statue of the Greek god Apollo
that resides in the Vatican's Belvedere Courtyard. Apollo is typically portrayed throughout the history of art as the epitome
of youth and beauty.