Iron Lou Gehrig
The luckiest man on earth
Heroes of baseball
Lou Gehrig was the first of the iron men of baseball. From 1925 to 1939, Lou Gehrig played 2130 consecutive baseball games for the New York Yankees. Incredibly, Lou Gehrig hit 493 homeruns and had a career batting average of .340. This is an incredible feet for any ballplayer, but unbelievable for a player who played fifteen consecutive seasons without missing a game. Lou Gehrig was called “The Iron Horse” for his longevity. He was an incredible first baseman and was voted the greatest first baseman of all time by the baseball writers association in 1969.
Lou Gehrig had his best season in 1927. He batted .373 with 218 hits, 52 doubles, 18 triples, 47 homeruns, and 175 RBI’s. And yes Lou Gehrig did this without the use of steroids. His slugging percentage was an incredible .765. This is one of the all-time best seasons for any Major League baseball player.
In 1938, Lou Gehrig began having sudden health problems at the midpoint of the season. He came into the 1939 season as a man lacking energy. His power was gone and he had trouble running the bases. Something was wrong with Lou Gehrig. In 1939, Lou Gehrig went to the Mayo clinic in Chicago. After six days of extensive testing, Lou Gehrig was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). This disease would later be known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Lou Gehrig was given a maximum of three years to live. Lou Gehrig’s disease rapidly paralyzes the body and ends in death.
Here is Lou Gehrig’s famous farewell speech.
“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.” (Lougehrigsspeach.com)
Lou Gehrig was one of the greatest Yankees of all time. He was a hero of baseball. Lou Gehrig was a man who is worth looking up to. Lou Gehrig played the game of baseball the way it was meant to be. He gave his all to the game of baseball. Lou Gehrig died from ALS on June 2, 1941- He was only 37 years old. He was truly a great Yankee and a hero of baseball.