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A GOLDEN TEAM'S SOLE SURVIVOR
Dave Newhouse
September 03, 1990
Mark Koenig is the last of the 1927 New York Yankees
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September 03, 1990

A Golden Team's Sole Survivor

Mark Koenig is the last of the 1927 New York Yankees

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It is 63 years now since Murderers' Row, and Koenig is ill. He has been battling cancer for eight years. "I eat four, five cloves of garlic every day," he says. "You can read in the newspapers that garlic has been beneficial to cancer patients. But it also keeps people away."

He chuckles. There are other physical problems. Gout. A deteriorating back has left him stooped and forces him to use a cane. Weakening eyesight. He wears glasses as thick as a Coke bottle.

"I get by," he says.

Koenig has outlived two wives. He has a daughter, Gail, and five grandchildren. He lives with Gail and her husband, Jim Terry, a psychologist, on a 32-acre site among the olive, almond and orange trees just outside Orland, Calif., an agricultural dot on the map 150 miles north of San Francisco. Koenig has the cottage in back.

Though he didn't finish high school, Koenig is a bright man who never gave up on learning. He spends his days reading and working crossword puzzles. "I finish most of them," he says proudly. At night he sits in a reclining chair watching television until he falls asleep. He sleeps three, maybe four hours a night, always upright, in the recliner. To lessen his physical discomfort, he is glad to talk about the old days, which allows him to project Ruth, Gehrig and the rest of the '27 Yankees across the theater of his mind.

It helps a little.

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