FROM: The New York Times (January 12th 1965) ~
By The United Press International
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Jan. 11
Wally Pipp, the man Lou Gehrig replaced at first base for the New York
Yankees, died in a rest home here today after a long illness. He was
71 years old.
He is survived by his widow, Nora; three sons, Tom, Ben and Walter
Jr., and a daughter, Mrs. William Bibler.
Ballplayer With Headache
In the mythology of baseball Wally Pipp is best remembered for his
On June 1, 1925, so the story goes, Pipp, the strapping,
smooth-fielding, heavy-hitting regular first baseman for the Yankees,
developed a headache before a game.
As the athlete reached into his locker for a bottle of aspirin, Miller
Huggins, his manager, asked how he felt.
"I've got a headache, Hug," Pippis supposed to have said.
"Suppose you take the day off, I'll use that big kid Gehrig at first
today," the manager reportedly replied.
What happened later is fact. Lou Gehrig played first base that day
and for the next 2,129 days through April 30, 1939, setting a record
that still stands.
Wally Pipp, who was then 32 years old, sat on the Yankees bench for a
good part of the year. He was traded to the Cincinnati Reds at the
end of the season and played four more years.
Several years ago the former ballplayer, who became a sports "ghost
writer," gently debunked the aspirin story.
The truth, he said was that Charley Caldwell, a Yankee pitcher who
later became Princeton's football coach, hit him with a fastball
during batting practice.
"The ball hit me right here on the temple," Pipp recalled. "Down I
went and I was much too far gone to bother reaching for any aspirin
Whether Pipp's memory held up over the years or whether newspaper
clippings accurately recorded the beaning in July, the story of the
"headache" became a part of baseball lore.
Pipp, who played with the Yankees for 10 years won the American League
home rune championship twice, with 12 in 1916 and 9 in 1917.
The big first baseman, who hit left-handed, had his best year in 1922,
when he batted .329. He hit .304 in 1918 and again in 1923. He
compiled a lifetime batting average of .281 in 15 seasons in the major
Walter Clement Pipp, who was born in Chicago broke into the majors
with the Detroit Tigers in 1912. Two years later he was sold to the