As the legend goes, New York Yankee Wally Pipp was removed from the starting line-up on June 2, 1925 because he had a terrible headache. His replacement “for the day” was Lou Gehrig — who went on to stay in the starting line-up for fourteen straight years and 2130 consecutive games, becoming one of the greatest legends of baseball in the process. Pipp reportedly later quipped, “I took the two most expensive aspirin in history.”
Of course, that story is more legend than fact. But if the upcoming NBC comedy Holding Patterns becomes a hit, actress Chyler Leigh might have a similar story.
That’s because Leigh was initially cast as Leah for the pilot, which is a comedy from The Office writer Justin Spitzer about the lives of a group of friends who survive a plane crash. However, Leigh missed the first table read because she was not feeling well. Her replacement at the reading was Grey’s Anatomy actress Erinn Hayes. The reading must have gone well, because once Leigh returned for rehearsals the cast and creators felt that Hayes had much better chemistry. As a result, Hayes was called back to replace Leigh in the role for the pilot.
This isn’t the first casting change for the pilot. Previously, New Girl‘s Nelson Franklin replaced 666 Park Avenue‘s Robert Buckley in Holding Patterns, and it’s not really surprising considering how often casts go through various iterations before (and sometimes even after) a pilot is shot. The rest of the cast includes Kate Lang Johnson, Humphrey Ker, Kimiko Glenn and Luka Jones.
As for Pipp? He was traded to the Cleveland Indians and retired in 1928. Let’s hope Leigh has more success — and stays healthy!