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Local Yankee Fan Researches Lou Gehrig, Wins Award

LARCHMONT, N.Y. – Grant Tucker is a big New York Yankee fan and showed his pinstripe pride by creating a digital scrapbook about the life of Lou Gehrig, which won the 2011 Laura and Robert Chodos Award for Excellence in Student Research Using Historical Records.

Grant, 10, won first prize for grades four through five for his entry, "On The Base Path of Lou Gehrig." The Murray Avenue School student received a certificate and $125 at a small luncheon ceremony at the Cultural Arts Center in Albany Oct. 25.

"It was pretty cool to go up there and get an award in front of everyone," said Grant, who got to miss one day of school to attend the ceremony.

Grant chose Gehrig as the subject of this extracurricular project after school librarian Pamela Tannenbaum told him the infamous Yankee first-baseman had lived in Larchmont. Tannenbaum, who then suggested he enter the annual contest, was also recognized at the ceremony as the sponsor of the project.

“Each year, we invite students and educators from throughout the state to conceive projects which utilize primary source documents to explore New York’s glorious past," said Christine Ward, state archivist. "From hundreds of submissions, we select the very finest.”

With the help of his parents Kim and Andrew, Grant went around town collecting records from the Mamaroneck and Larchmont libraries, the Larchmont Historical Society and the Columbia University Archives.

"One of the things he learned is Eleanor Gehrig kept a scrapbook for Lou of all of his accomplishments," Kim Tucker said. "He wanted to make it look as if Eleanor had kept this scrapbook for Lou. Then, on each page, he put his reactions to what he found, what was surprising and what was interesting to him."

Grant found out that Gehrig married his wife in 1933, while living in New Rochelle. Soon after, they moved into the Stonecrest apartment building on N. Chatsworth Avenue in Larchmont. He found a copy of a cancelled check with the address on it, used to pay for his treatments at the Mayo Clinic.

"He spent a lot of time on weekends going to two or three places looking at microfilm at the library and going around to the various locations," Kim said. "For a 10-year-old to work hard at something and to be recognized for that hard work is really special."

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