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Rare footage shows FDR walking at 1937 All-Star Game

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

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The family of former big leaguer Jimmie DeShong has donated rare footage of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt walking before the 1937 All-Star Game to the Pennsylvania State Archives, according to Matthew Diebel of USA Today.

FDR, who was the nation's only four-term president, was crippled by polio at age 39. He was 55 years old and in his second term as president in 1937. Here's the clip:

Photos and film of FDR walking are rare because the press followed an unwritten rule that they should not portray a weak chief executive. The Secret Service had orders to shut down any attempts to capture images of FDR in some kind of weakened state, including walking. Most photos and film of Roosevelt show him behind a podium, sitting at a desk, or sitting in a car. Whenever he did walk, he used a cane and was assisted, usually by his son or an advisor.

The 1937 All-Star Game was played at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C. Here is the box score. In the video you can see two players who appear to be Lou Gehrig and Jimmie Foxx chatting before the game.

DeShong played seven years in the majors from 1932-39. He recorded the film, according to Diebel.

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