He won two MVP awards and one Triple Crown, and the Iron Horse set the standard for toughness and durability by playing in a then record 2,130 consecutive games.
"In the not quite 50 years since his death, Lou Gehrig has become baseball's Abraham Lincoln, a figure of such mythic saintliness that his human qualities have been all but lost. Honest Abe and Larrupin' Lou were a couple of American primitives, one born in a log cabin, the other in an urban slum, who rose to greatness through the time-honored virtues of hard work, sincerity and humility."
—RON FIMRITE SI, Oct. 8, 1990
Baseball's home run (755) and RBI (2,297) king, Hammerin' Hank was a 24-time All-Star who averaged 33 homers and 100 RBIs for his 23 major league seasons.
"From the day he first reported to the Braves in the spring of 1954, a scared 20-year-old with less than two seasons of experience in the lower minors behind him, the entire Milwaukee organization had been acting strangely like a family which discovered a uranium mine in its backyard."
—ROY TERRELL SI, Aug. 12, 1957
The Babe began his career as a pitcher and won 20 games twice, then became a full-time outfielder and slugged 714 home runs; he was not only the dominant player of his day but also the dominant personality of an era.
"Everything he did smacked of hyperbole. He ate too much. He drank too much. He womanized to a fare-thee-well. And when he hit yet another of his titanic shots, the reporters covering his games wrote the prose of excess, as if nothing less could do justice to his swats."
—WILLIAM NACK, SI, Aug. 24, 1998