Poor Wally Pipp
According to folklore, on June 2, 1925, New York
Yankees' longtime regular first baseman Wally
Pipp got a headache and couldn't play in the scheduled
game. He was replaced by a newcomer named Lou
Gehrig. Gehrig didn't relinquish the position
for 14 years (and only then because of a life-ending
In truth, however, Pipp wasn't playing well throughout
the early part of 1925, so manager Miller Huggins
decided to give Gehrig a shot at playing first
base. It was actually a month later, in July,
1925, that Pipp was hit on the head with a ball
and developed a lingering headache. Over the years,
the story morphed into the legend that it is today.
With no need for the usually solid-playing Pipp
(he hit a .295 in 1924 and led the league in triples),
the Yankees sold him to the Cincinnati Reds for
$20,000. This is the transfer agreement between
the Yankees and the Reds that dealt Pipp away.
Soon thereafter, the phrase "To be Wally
Pipped," entered the American vernacular
as a saying to mean to be replaced for good.
click to enlarge
legend of Wally Pipp started with this telegram,
sent in February, 1915, which mentions that
he had been signed to the Yankees.