One of the best baseball films ever produced, Pride of the Yankees was nominated for ten Academy Awards. The Lou Gehrig biopic is a love story wrapped around baseball. To make the movie more authentic, producers hired sports agent Christy Walsh as a liaison to gain the cooperation of the New York Yankees. Indeed, Babe Ruth, Bill Dickey, Bob Meusel, and Mark Koenig appeared as themselves in credited roles.
In the collection is this letter from Walsh to his assistant Joe Bihler on Samuel Goldwyn Inc. letterhead and dated January 27, 1942. Walsh write that he is, “very happy to say that Bill Dickey has finally agreed to come out and appear in the Lou Gehrig picture.”
Walsh asks Bihler to, “…send me as much material as you can dig up Bill Dickey suitable for studio publicity.” Walsh suggest that Bihler contact the Yankees and, “Al Munro Elias, or any other source” for “information or figures on Dickey.”
Walsh continues, “You might also consult Mrs. Gehrig by telephone to see if she if she has any reminiscence or suggestions regarding Dickey, particularly regarding his friendship and relationship with Lou.”
In the next paragraph Walsh handles a more delicate situation. “We are trying to have Bill arrive in Hollywood a few days before Babe arrives because, naturally Babe carries more news importance and we don’t want him to take the edge off of Dickey’s arrival story. This, of course, has to be handled tactfully because I don’t want to offend Bill Dickey.”
Walsh started his association with baseball as the ghostwriter for Christy Mathewson in 1912. Walsh soon became the first agent in baseball history representing the titans of the game – Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, John McGraw, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Rogers Hornsby, Dizzy Dean and others.