The parents and widow of Lou Gehrig were so concerned about the potential desecration of his grave that they considered moving his ashes to the Hall of Fame. Officials embraced the idea of creating a mausoleum for baseball greats, but the idea was killed by Gehrig's wife - whose cryptic remarks leave us wondering to this day about the disposition of his remains. Kirst's essay on Gehrig's ashes and numerous other essays are put together from dozens of personal interviews with baseball characters.
Babe Dahlgren claims he was blacklisted for rumors of marijuana use; Babe Ruth sends a note to a child stricken with polio - a note nearly lost when the family moved, and the first physical confirmation obtained by the Hall of Fame of the slugger's legendary kindness to children; a black cat is brought to the ballpark as a gesture of contempt when Jackie Robinson plays against Syracuse, a team he felt treated him as badly as any in the International League. The collection contains new information about the father of baseball card collecting, about a bat company whose accomplishments were lost in baseball lore, and about the murder trial of the first African American to play in the Major Leagues. Beautifully written, filled with fresh facts and revelations, these essays will appeal.