The 13th of June , 1927, was one of the great testimonial days in the history of New York City. Millions cheered as a ticker-tape parade welcomed Charles A. Lindbergh who had defied death and gained immortality flying "The Spirit of St. Louis" solo across the Atlantic Ocean to Paris and back.
Once an unknown, the 25-year-old "Lucky Lindy" was now too well known for some tastes. It was claimed in some quarters that the young aviator was a bigger star than Babe Ruth, if one could believe that.
Mark Koenig did not. The Babe, the Yankee second baseman argued, was larger than Charles Lindbergh, larger than life. "My God, the way people would come from all over to see him. You had to be there to believe it."
You had to be in New York City that day to believe the fuss made about the peerless pilot. "Col Lindbergh, New York City is yours," Mayor Jimmy Walker, told him at the City Hall lovefest. "I don't give it to you. You won it."
Lindbergh rode bare-headed in an open automobile in what in later times was to be called the "Canyon of Heroes." There were estimates that 4 million people were there to see him and that tons and tons of confetti were showered down upon him.
At the Stadium that day the Yankees were pitted against Cleveland. Lou Gehrig with a .394 batting average, 14 homers and an incredible 60 RBIs torqued the Yankee dynamo. The 20,000 die-hard fans who definitely cared more about their team than Lindbergh had a good time seeing New York pulverize the Indians, 14-6. Native Alabaman Ben Paschal had one of his greatest days in baseball, probably his greatest, ripping two homers (he had but 24 in his career), a triple and double and scored five times. Lazzeri and Dugan also homered while Collins contributed a grand slam. The victory triggered the longest Yankee winning streak of the season - nine games, June 13th through July 23rd.
June 14 was a rainy day and the Yankees did not play. Their lead over the second place White Sox was five games. At this mid point in their sensational season the Yankee lineup caused extreme stress to any pitcher who had the misfortune to face it. It was truly Murderers Row, a killing squad with thunder aplenty. As the admiring members of the New York press kept pointing out day after day if one of the Yankees sluggers didn't hurt the opposing team, another one would. You could count on it.
Harvey Frommer is his 33rd consecutive year of writing sports books. The author of 40 of them including the classics: "New York City Baseball,1947-1957" and "Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball," his acclaimed REMEMBERING YANKEE STADIUM, an oral/narrative history (Abrams, Stewart, Tabori and Chang) was published in 2008 as well as a reprint version of his classic "Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball." The prolific Frommer is at work on REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK (2010).
Frommer sports books are available direct from the author - discounted and autographed.
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