WASHINGTON—Calling the broadcast a “rare find” that encapsulates the true meaning of sports in America, archivists at the Smithsonian Institution unearthed a 1939 recording Monday that features a sports radio host attacking Lou Gehrig’s commitment to baseball.
“Is this guy serious? The Yankees pay Gehrig the big bucks, and he thanks them by quitting over some little cold or something? What a fraud!” said local New York broadcaster Hank Miller in the radio segment on Gehrig’s 1939 retirement, who then took calls from dozens of fans attacking Gehrig as a spoiled pretty boy who should just suck it up and do his job.
“Look, we don’t pay these guys $5,000 for nothing. Put me on the team and I’ll play with all the involuntary spasms you throw at me. He’s spitting in the faces of fans with this poppycock. Today, you’re the luckiest man on Earth, Lou? No, today, you are the laziest man on Earth.” At press time, the recording was being prepared for display alongside a clipping of an 1880 newspaper editorial claiming that the introduction of downs had destroyed the sport of football.