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If Gehrig Lived......

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  • #16
    I also would like to know to what extent his disease was 'genetic'. Anyone care to offer an opinion?
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 04-01-2006, 03:32 PM.

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    • #17
      From what I know.....neither Gehrig's father or mother had the desease,,, or any family member for that matter...so I cant see it being genetic.
      "I was pitching one day when my glasses clouded up on me. I took them off to polish them. When I looked up to the plate, I saw Jimmie Foxx. The sight of him terrified me so much that I haven't been able to wear glasses since." - Left Gomez

      "(Lou) Gehrig never learned that a ballplayer couldn't be good every day." - Hank Gowdy

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      • #18
        the Lukiest Man book

        Originally posted by Myankee4life
        From what I know.....neither Gehrig's father or mother had the desease,,, or any family member for that matter...so I cant see it being genetic.
        I can't recommend this book highly enough. It doesn't attribute his disease to anything other than pure chance (about 5 thousand a year get this in the United States). ALS is not genetic or something that can be passed on (Gehrig in fact sued a NY Paper and took $17k in a settlement that wrote he had infected his team-mates) or known to be something that would be made more susceptible to one who worked his body as hard as Gehrig did.

        From the book, a great quote is (on page 364) that today when neurologist Dr. Anthony Windebank of the Mayo Clinic has to break the news that a patient has ALS 'it hits them like a fastball between the eyes...Everyone knows Gehrig died young. But after the initial shock, patients often reflect on Gehrig's response to his diagnosis rather than the outcome of his illness. ALS is a disease of weakness, but Lou Gerhig's disease is associated with strength -the strength of a striken man who said he felt lucky.'

        That to me is his lasting legacy. He wasn't perfect by any means however even in his letters to Dr's or friends you do not get the feeling of someone who is crying 'woe is me' rather, it is someone who is fighting and thinks he can beat it. He was under the thought that he had to hit bottom and then could make a recovery. At one point he thought his recovery would allow him to play baseball but even he realized that was unrealistic early on.

        Towards the end, Eleanor in a private letter to one of Lou's doctor's mentions that she is 'continuing to lie like hell' to keep his spirits up. But towards the very end as he dropped to 125 lbs and was unable to do much than lie in bed it was what it was.

        In the book it discusses a neurologist that claims he can detect signs of Gehrig showing symptons of his disease in the movie he made in January of 1938. The doctor, Dr. Edward Kasarskis a neurologist of University of Kentucky detects some early signs and published a medical paper on the subject. Other doctors have subsequently been unable to find the same signs after viewing the movie.

        Here is a website with a discussion of the medical paper.
        http://www.medical-papers.com/gehrig...l+amyotrophic/
        Last edited by johnny; 04-01-2006, 12:51 PM.
        Johnny
        Delusion, Life's Coping Mechanism

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        • #19
          the movie Rawhide starring Lou Gerhig

          :radio
          In case you missed it, here is the plotline courtesy of www.imdb.com
          Plot Summary for
          Rawhide (1938)

          Baseball superstar Gehrig is one of several ranchers being coerced by a bunch of bandits. His sister and her lawyer/boyfriend organize the ranchers.:gt

          Saunders with his Cattlemen's Protective Agency is running roughshod over the ranchers. Lawyer Larry Kimball is fighting him but he needs a rancher that will stand up with him against Saunders. He finds him when Lou Gehrig retires from baseball to take up ranching. Lou expects to relax on his ranch but quickly joins Larry in the fight.
          Now isn't that a good big brother! No word if Lou has a girl himself.
          Johnny
          Delusion, Life's Coping Mechanism

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          • #20
            I'll predict a .334 career BA, 600 homers, 2300+ RBIs

            and all those rings

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            • #21
              Originally posted by blackout805
              I'll predict a .334 career BA, 600 homers, 2300+ RBIs

              and all those rings
              Tell me if this prediction ever comes true.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by leecemark
                --I'm pretty sure XX is right. Gehrig would have suffered the same fate had he been an accountant.
                Quite possible, but rather hard to believe. If he had a nice quiet office job next to a window, overlooking a streaming river and chirping birds, would he have suffered the same disease? Would his typing wpm speed have gone down and he just couldn't figure out why?

                This guy literally put himself through hell to step onto the ballfield day in and day out. Just can't imagine the mental and physical strain didn't play a part, but maybe not.

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                • #23
                  --Perhaps you could do a little study of how many people in phyically stressfull occupations suffer ALS and how many in sedantary jobs. I'm pretty sure you'll find zero correlation. Let me know if you find differently.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by johnny
                    I can't recommend this book highly enough. It doesn't attribute his disease to anything other than pure chance (about 5 thousand a year get this in the United States). ALS is not genetic or something that can be passed on (Gehrig in fact sued a NY Paper and took $17k in a settlement that wrote he had infected his team-mates) or known to be something that would be made more susceptible to one who worked his body as hard as Gehrig did.
                    Thanks Johnny! That was a terrific post. That medical paper is tremendously fascinating. I recommend all take a look if you have time.
                    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 04-01-2006, 03:30 PM.

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                    • #25
                      bill james forecast of

                      Originally posted by DoubleX
                      Thanks Johnny! That was a terrific post. That medical paper is tremendously fascinating. I recommend all take a look if you have time.
                      Glad you liked it. I would love to see the movie just to see that Bronx based man out in the wild west.
                      Bill James did forecast a 'what if' analysis and it is cited in the Luckiest Man book on page 222. Of course, like any 'what if' analysis involving projections of this type it is based on a lot of speculation. Here goes

                      Home Runs: 689
                      BA: Lifetime .330
                      Hits: 3928
                      RBIs: 2,879 (which is about 600 more than the current holder Aaron)
                      Walks: 2,475
                      The walks and RBI numbers per James are not unreasonable.
                      'but these are not unreasonable numbers.
                      They only look unreasonable because they are so extraordinary.'
                      Johnny
                      Delusion, Life's Coping Mechanism

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                      • #26
                        Bill James once referred to a 'Lou Brock system" for predicting this stuff.

                        Bill

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by [email protected]
                          Bill James once referred to a 'Lou Brock system" for predicting this stuff.

                          Bill
                          Bill
                          You lost me...which isn't hard at times. Can you please 'explain-i-ate' as i am having a bit of cornfusion here. h
                          Johnny
                          Delusion, Life's Coping Mechanism

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                          • #28
                            Two Gun Lou

                            The April 18, 1938 issue of Newsweek has a review of Lou Gehrig's movie "Rawhide" (page 24). The review's last paragraph discusses athletes and the movies. It closes as follows: "But of the whole athletic crop, only Sonja Henie has achieved the upper brackets. While Gehrig will never the rival the ice skater's fame, he could develop into a Western star with a little more experience. The series of horse operas which he is slated to make should give him all he needs of that."

                            Perhaps had he not met his terrible fate, Lou Gehrig might have wound up with both a plaque in the Baseball Hall of Fame and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame! Brownie31
                            Last edited by Brownie31; 04-01-2006, 04:57 PM.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by johnny
                              Bill
                              You lost me...which isn't hard at times. Can you please 'explain-i-ate' as i am having a bit of confusion here. h
                              See if I can unlose you.

                              "The Brock2 system projects that absent the injury, he wold have collected about 3,800 hits in his career and finished with a career average of .357. I think that estimate is a little low; I think he would have gotten over 4,000 hits and hit about .362." (Bill James Historical BB Abstract, 1988, pp. 347, in the section on George Sisler)

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Myankee4life
                                From what I know.....neither Gehrig's father or mother had the desease,,, or any family member for that matter...so I cant see it being genetic.
                                I don't know if the disease is genetic or not, but the fact that Gehrig's parents didn't have it would not rule it out as being genetic.

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