In October 1939, New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia gave New York Yankees great Lou Gehrig an office job when the Yankees didn’t. Stricken with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which would widely become known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, the Manhattan born and educated Gehrig was appointed by the mayor to a ten-year term as a New York City parole commissioner. Gehrig died two years later.
During the 1939 MLB season, La Guardia had honored Gehrig at the original Yankee Stadium. At the ceremony, Gehrig delivered perhaps the most famous speech in sports history.
Above, a shot of La Guardia and Gehrig at the event accompanies a photo taken during a New York Sports Tours visit to the same location (accented by a La Guardia campaign pin from New York Sports Tours’ artifacts collection). Similar time jumps are part of an original then-and-now photo series being tagged #OvertimeNY on social media.
Since mid-October, most #OvertimeNY posts have featured archival images next to same-day photos. Subjects during this stretch have included the New York City Marathon, the New York Mets, Muhammad Ali, Pelé, Willie Mays, Joe DiMaggio, Wilt Chamberlain, youth baseball players and the first Madison Square Garden.
The new World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers may not be having a victory parade because of Covid-19, but two days after the Series, #OvertimeNY was on Brooklyn’s Flatbush Avenue, where a parade had been held in 1941 to celebrate the then-Brooklyn Dodgers’ first National League pennant in 21 years.
This story was published in a special Election Day issue of New York Sports Tours’ newsletter. For more original stories, sign up for the complimentary newsletter here.