When ‘The Professor’ played the role of ‘Rusty,’ the Yankee pitcher griping about Lou Gehrig booting a grounder

Thanks to a great find by a keeper of the game Dennis D’Agostino:
That’s the late Russell Johnson, aka “The Professor” from “Gilligan’s Island” who died Thursday, playing in maybe his second greatest role — as “Rusty,” the Yankees pitcher in the 1956 CBS “Climax Mystery Theater” made-for-TV movie version of “The Lou Gehrig Story.”
(OK, maybe his third greatest. We did enjoy his work in “Attack of the Crab Monsters.”)
From Television City in Hollywood to your YouTube channel, just go to the five-minute mark of this black-and-white gem to see Rusty get all huffy with Bill Dickey about Gehrig’s poor performance. Soon, Gehrig (not played by “Pride of the Yankees” Oscar winner Gary Cooper, but someone named Wendell Corey) steps in to assure Rusty that it was a “my bad” moment. Classy.
(That’s also L.A. legend Sam Balter in the role of the sportscaster.)
Too bad the real Professor, Casey Stengel, wasn’t around to settle this rhubarb.
And if you’ve got the time, watch the whole drama play out on your computer, starting with the Chrysler car ads. Then go to the 59:20 mark to find out how you can give to the “mental health campaign.” Kind of explains who the target audience was for this series.

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