This weekend, all Major League Baseball teams will commemorate the 70th anniversary of Lou Gehrig’s “Luckiest Man” speech and raise awareness and funds for the disease that took his life and would come to bear his name, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Seventy years later, ALS still has no known cause and no known cure. My sister Jennifer was diagnosed with ALS last year.
On tomorrow, July 4, each home team in Major League Baseball will host an on-field reading of Gehrig’s farewell speech during the 7th Inning Stretch. The below clip — the only surviving video of the moment — is only a portion of the talk he gave. In addition, all players will wear a “4-ALS” patch. Local chapters of the ALS Association are sponsoring programs to donate based on the number of hits your favorite team amasses on July 4, but support for care for patients and research on the disease are needed at all times, and I hope you can join me in making a contribution.
On a related note, I only recently read Jonathan Eig’s terrific biography of Gehrig, LUCKIEST MAN, and suggest you should too. Neither mauldlin nor worshipful, it paints Gehrig’s nievete and dorkiness as sharply as it illustrates his extraordinary strength and his value as a teammate.