As the Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves meet in this year’s World Series, we look to past World Series greats and their connections to Columbia. And just to keep things interesting, we are not even going to include “Columbia Lou,” aka Lou Gehrig (CC 1925), who appeared in 7 World Series and won 6 times.
7 World Series appearances
This Yankee great joined Columbia’s “Take Time for Health Day” on May 25, 2003. At the event, sponsored by Columbia University Health Sciences, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, Derek Jeter was presented with a Community Builders Award for his “outstanding contributions to New York communities.” Jeter was recognized for his work in providing healthy lifestyle programs for children and their families in Washington Heights through the collaborative efforts of his Turn 2 Foundation, the Children’s Hospital of New York-Presbyterian and P.S. 128. After receiving his award, Jeter answered questions from a group of children inside the Russ Berrie Medical Science Pavilion.
10 World Series appearances
Joseph P. DiMaggio received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree at the Columbia Commencement in 1990. In his 2014 memoir, University President Michael Sovern captures his awe of the moment: As a child growing up in the Bronx, Sovern had watched “that extraordinarily graceful athlete from a bleacher seat I could barely afford … And here I was, president of Columbia University, the host of one of my boyhood idols.” He was not the only awed fan in attendance that day. During the ceremony, graduates sang “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” in DiMaggio’s honor.
14 World Series appearances
10 wins – the current record holder for the most World Series wins
Lawrence Peter Berra established the Yogi Berra Scholarship Fund in the College in 1959. The scholarship, which was awarded to a freshman who had shown promise in baseball, was funded with money donated at Yogi Berra Day at Yankee Stadium. In 1959, this included a gift from then Vice-President Richard Nixon. Berra said he selected Columbia for the gift because it was “Lou Gehrig’s old school.” This scholarship was modeled on the Lou Gehrig Memorial Scholarship. Started in 1951, the Lou Gehrig scholarship was funded with the donations from Mel Allen Day at Yankee Stadium. The Yankee sportscaster gave a gift to Columbia for a non-athletic scholarship and a gift to his ownalma mater, the University of Alabama, for a Babe Ruth Scholarship.