We recently acquired a new football program from 1951, Columbia v. Navy, and were drawn to it by the beautiful cover illustration done by the well-known illustrator Willard Mullin.
Inside, the program contained a treat. An article I had never seen before about Lou Gehrig. It was written by Lincoln A. Werden, a sportswriter for the New York Times who also went to Commerce High School and Columbia with Lou. The article by one of his former classmates gives some interesting insights: “He came to school by subway or the “El,” took two steps at a time going up and down stairs, seldom wore a vest or top-coat in cold weather and had a terrific appetite. Once when a group of us went off on a holiday to Katonah, N.Y., Lou arrived with a huge turkey and pie that his mother had cooked. But unfortunately when we awoke the following morning, most of the turkey and pie had been consumed. Lou had a habit then of eating an early breakfast and enjoyed a hearty one that morning.”
The story also tells the tale of Lou’s aptitudes, “In the high school classroom, Lou was an apt student, especially at stenography. Since this was a commercial school ostensibly, he appeared to have a future as a shorthand expert. He was extremely active also in the Printing Club.” And then, “Lou was also a clever soccer player and then, as Columbians will recall, he was a plunging back on the Lion team, scoring the lone touchdown at South Field against Colgate, when the Red Raiders swamped us, 59-6, in 1922.”
Our website has a nice collection of vintage and historic collegiate football programs: