NY Yankees’ Lou Gehrig First Athlete on Wheaties Box, Pole Vaulter Bob Richards First on Front

Wheaties has become synonymous with featuring legendary athletes on its cereal box. But did know that the first athlete to appear on a box of Wheaties was New York Yankee great first baseman Lou Gehrig in 1934. 

The image was of Gehrig in his classic hitting stance, with the slogan “Breakfast of Champions” prominently displayed beneath his feet. Gehrig’s appearance on the box established the beginning of a long-running tradition of featuring star athletes on the cereal’s packaging.

However, Olympic pole vaulter Bob Richards holds the distinction of being the first athlete to be featured on the front of the box. Richards appeared in three Olympics in 1948, 1952, and 1956 Summer Olympics as a pole vaulter and as a decathlete in 1956. 

He captured gold medals in the pole vault event in both 1952 and 1956, becoming the only male two-time champion in the event in Olympic history.

Gehrig, nicknamed the Iron Horse for his incredible durability, clubbed an amazing .340 average with 493 home runs and 1995 RBI in a 17-year MLB career.

Please check out my newly published children’s book, Cha-Cha Chicken Sneeze, on Amazon. Please click the above link to purchase.

— Jerry Del Priore


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