Wally Pipp

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Walter Clement Pipp (February 17, 1893 – January 11, 1965) was an American first baseman in Major League Baseball, now best remembered as the man who lost his starting role to Lou Gehrig at the beginning of Gehrig's streak of 2,130 consecutive games.[1]


Major League career

After playing 12 games with the Detroit Tigers in 1913, Pipp graduated from The Catholic University of America in 1914. The Chicago-born Pipp then joined the New York Yankees for the 1915 season, and would play 136 or more games for them every season until 1925 (except 1918, when his playing was curtailed by injury), hitting .282 with a little power, even after the end of the "dead ball" era. Pipp did lead the American League with 12 home runs in 1916, and again with 9 in 1917. Pipp was the first Yankee to win a home run title. Pipp scouted and asked Miller Huggins to sign young Lou Gehrig from Columbia University, whom Pipp personally helped develop as a young first baseman.

Pipp's removal from the Yankees' starting lineup

On June 2, 1925, Pipp was removed from the Yankees' starting lineup and replaced with Gehrig. While many stories over the years have said Pipp sat out the game due to a headache, others suggest Yankee manager Miller Huggins may have actually benched Pipp and other veterans in order to "shake up" the slumping lineup.[2] A month later, Pipp received a skull fracture when he was hit by a practice pitch from Charlie Caldwell, an event that had also been mistakenly linked to his initial benching. Pipp was later traded to the Cincinnati Reds before the 1926 season.

Later career

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