With the baseball playoffs in full swing and the World Series next week, it’s time to celebrate “America’s Pastime” with a queue of classic movies from in and around the diamond.
And none is more classic than “The Pride of the Yankees.” Director Sam Wood’s 1942 biographical drama tells the heroic but ultimately tragic story of Lou Gehrig, the slugging first baseman who helped lead the New York Yankees to multiple World Series titles before being forced into retirement in 1939 by ALS, the disease that would end his life two years later.
Played by Gary Cooper, Gehrig was the strong, silent type, who eschewed the hard-partying ways of teammates such as Babe Ruth (who made a cameo appearance) for a quiet life with wife Eleanor (Teresa Wright). And the closing scene of a dying Gehrig calling himself “the luckiest man on the face of the Earth” in a farewell ceremony at Yankee Stadium ranks as one of filmdom’s greatest and most moving quotes.
“The Pride of the Yankees” can be streamed on Amazon, Tubi and the Roku Channel.