Bobby Thomson, Famed Homer Hero, Passes on… Did Lou Gehrig Have ALS?

Major League Baseball mourns the loss of Bobby Thomson, “The Flying Scot”, whose home run off Ralph Branca in 1951 won the National League pennant for the New York Giants.

Thomson homered with two runners on and the Giants trailing 4 – 2 in the bottom of the ninth when he launched an 0-1 pitch into the left field stands at the Polo Grounds.  “The Giants Win the Pennant”, Russ Hodges famous call, still resonates even though both are now working games in heaven.

Thomson was born in Scotland, but moved to Staten Island when he was three years old.  Thomson has another trivia element – his leg injury during the spring of 1954 allowed the Milwaukee Braves to move a young Henry Aaron into their lineup.  [MLB, ESPN, FoxSports, etc…]

Did Lou Gehrig Even Have ALS?

Researchers suggest that it may be that Lou Gehrig suffered from repetitive concussive trauma, or that repetitive concussions possibly gained while playing football at Columbia University may have contributed to his demise.  An academic paper published in the Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology compared the brains of a former boxer and two football players and determined that the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis diagnoses given them were more likely caused by repetitive concussions.

Of course, suggesting that the face of the disease bearing Gehrig’s name may not have even had ALS is the type of revisionist history that will anger many who worship the Iron Horse, much less look to his courage for inspiration…  Should be interesting seeing this make the rounds of the talk show (news and sports) circuit.


1 thought on “Bobby Thomson, Famed Homer Hero, Passes on… Did Lou Gehrig Have ALS?

  1. This would come as a surprise to Jonathan Eig who documented the progression of the disease with elaborate detail in Luckiest Man. Sounded pretty similar to that portrayed in Tuesdays with Morrie. I’d like to read the article, though, as it does not sound like they examined Gehrig’s brain.

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