- NAME: Lou Gehrig
- OCCUPATION: Baseball Player
- BIRTH DATE: June 19, 1903
- DEATH DATE: June 02, 1941
- EDUCATION: Columbia University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: New York, New York
- PLACE OF DEATH: New York, New York
- Full Name: Henry Louis Gehrig
- AKA: Lou Gehrig
- Originally: Ludwig Heinrich Gehrig
- Nickname: The Iron Horse
- Nickname: Columbia Lou
Best Known For
Hall of Fame first baseman Lou Gehrig played for the New York Yankees in the 1920s and 1930s, setting the mark for consecutive games played. He died of ALS in 1941.
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His Hall of Fame career saw him score 100 runs and knock in at least that many in 13 consecutive seasons. In 1931, he set an American League record by clubbing 184 RBIs; three years later, he took home baseball's coveted Triple Crown by leading the league in home runs (49), average (.363) and RBIs (165). That same year he became the first player to hit four home runs in a single game.
In the World Series, Gehrig was equally impressive, batting .361 over the course of his career,
while leading the club to six championships.
In 1938 the aging Gehrig turned in his first subpar season. His hard-charging career seemed to have caught up with him as his body started to fail him. But Gehrig, who was having trouble with things as simple as tying his shoelaces, feared he might be facing something more than just the downslide of a long baseball career.
In 1939, after getting off to a horrid start to the baseball season, Gehrig checked himself into the Mayo Clinic, where after a series of tests, doctors informed him that he was suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a devastating disease that strips nerve cells of their ability to interact with the body's muscles. His diagnosis with the disease helped put the spotlight on the condition, and in the years since Gehrig's passing, it has come to be known popularly as "Lou Gehrig's disease."
On May 2, 1939, Gehrig's ironman streak came to an end when he voluntarily took himself out of the lineup. Not long after, Gehrig retired from baseball. He returned to Yankee Stadium on July 4 of that year so that the team could hold a day in his honor. Standing on the field where he'd made so many memories and wearing his old uniform, Gehrig said goodbye to his fans with a short, tearful speech to the crowded ballpark.
"For the past two weeks you've been reading about a bad break," he said. "Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth." He paid tribute to his parents, wife and teammates, and then closed by saying: "I might have been given a bad break, but I have an awful lot to live for. Thank you."
Following Gehrig's retirement, Major League Baseball circumvented its own rules and immediately inducted the former Yankee into its Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. In addition, the Yankees retired Gehrig's uniform, making him the first baseball player ever to receive that honor.
Over the next year, Gehrig maintained a busy schedule, accepting a civic role with the City of New York in which the former ballplayer determined the time of release for prisoners in the city's penal institutions.
By 1941, however, Gehrig's health had significantly deteriorated. He largely remained at home, too frail to even sign his own name, much less go out. On June 2, 1941, he passed away in his sleep at his home in New York City.
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