back in the 20s when he played with Babe Ruth and the Yankees so they gave him #4, Babe batted third, so he wore #3.
While Gehrig’s unbelieveable acheivement of playing in 2,130 consecutive games is worthy of all the attention that it gets, he was also a lifetime .340 hitter and managed to average 147 RBIs a season despite playing behind the Bambino who wasnt bad at cleaning the bases himself.
Gehrig’s streak ended when he came down with ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), now called Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
His one-minute farewell speech at Yankee Stadium is still one of the most emotional and classic moments in all of sport.
Today 13 major league baseball stadiums featured Gehrig’s speech, read by a variety of celebrities like Brooke Shields, S. Epatha Merkerson, Matt Dillon, Blair Underwood, John Goodman, Chi McBride, Chris
Rock, Billy Baldwin Scott Wolf, Jason Priestley, Jesse L. Martin, David Morse, and James Gandolfini (pictured).
“Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth.
I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans. Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn�t consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day?
Sure I�m lucky. Who wouldn�t consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball�s greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy?
Sure I�m lucky.
When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift – that�s something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies – that�s something.
When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter – that�s something.
When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so you can have an education and build your body – it�s a blessing.
When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed – that�s the finest I know.
So I close in saying that I may have had a tough break, but I have an awful lot to live for.”