HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » 80 Years Ago Today; Lou G...

Thu Jul 4, 2019, 07:25 AM

80 Years Ago Today; Lou Gehrig retires, states he's "The Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lou_Gehrig


Gehrig with the New York Yankees in 1923

Henry Louis Gehrig (born Heinrich Ludwig Gehrig; June 19, 1903 – June 2, 1941) was an American professional baseball first baseman who played 17 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the New York Yankees (1923–1939). Gehrig was renowned for his prowess as a hitter and for his durability, which earned him his nickname "The Iron Horse". He was an All-Star seven consecutive times, a Triple Crown winner once, an American League (AL) Most Valuable Player twice, and a member of six World Series champion teams. He had a career .340 batting average, .632 slugging average, and a .447 on base average. He hit 493 home runs and had 1,995 runs batted in (RBI). In 1939, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame[4] and was the first MLB player to have his uniform number (4) retired by a team. He was also the first one to ever do so in any sports.

A native of New York City and a student at Columbia University, Gehrig signed with the Yankees in 1923. He set several major-league records during his career, including the most career grand slams (23) (since broken by Alex Rodriguez) and most consecutive games played (2,130), a record that stood for 56 years and was long considered unbreakable until surpassed by Cal Ripken, Jr., in 1995. Gehrig's consecutive game streak ended on May 2, 1939, when he voluntarily took himself out of the lineup, stunning both players and fans, after his performance on the field became hampered by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, an incurable neuromuscular illness; it is now commonly referred to in North America as "Lou Gehrig's disease". The disease forced him to retire at age 36, and was the cause of his death two years later. The pathos of his farewell from baseball was capped off by his iconic 1939 "Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth" speech at Yankee Stadium.

In 1969, the Baseball Writers' Association of America voted Gehrig the greatest first baseman of all time, and he was the leading vote-getter on the MLB All-Century Team chosen by fans in 1999. A monument in Gehrig's honor, originally dedicated by the Yankees in 1941, currently resides in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium. The Lou Gehrig Memorial Award is given annually to the MLB player who best exhibits Gehrig's integrity and character.

<snip>

Later life
Gehrig played his last game for the Yankees on April 30, 1939. On July 11 of that year, he appeared at the All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium as the American League team captain (officially on the roster as a reserve player), exchanging lineup cards prior to the game.

Following his retirement from baseball, Lou Gehrig wrote, "Don't think I am depressed or pessimistic about my condition at present". Struggling against his ever-worsening physical condition, he added, "I intend to hold on as long as possible and then if the inevitable comes, I will accept it philosophically and hope for the best. That's all we can do."

In October 1939, he accepted Mayor Fiorello La Guardia's appointment to a 10-year term as a New York City Parole Commissioner (Gehrig had moved from New Rochelle to Riverdale to satisfy a residency requirement for the job) and was sworn into office on January 2, 1940. The Parole Commission commended the ex-ballplayer for his "firm belief in parole, properly administered", stating that Gehrig "indicated he accepted the parole post because it represented an opportunity for public service. He had rejected other job offers – including lucrative speaking and guest appearance opportunities – worth far more financially than the $5,700 a year commissionership." Gehrig visited New York City's correctional facilities, but insisted that the visits not be covered by news media. As always, Gehrig quietly and efficiently performed his duties. He was often helped by his wife Eleanor, who would guide his hand when he had to sign official documents. Gehrig reached the point where his deteriorating physical condition made it impossible for him to continue in the job, and he quietly resigned from the position about a month before his death.

Death
At 10:10 p.m. on June 2, 1941, Gehrig died at his home at 5204 Delafield Avenue in the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx, New York. The day was 16 years to the day the Gehrig replaced Wally Pipp, and a day before the 9th anniversary of his four-home-run game.

Upon hearing the news, Babe Ruth and his wife Claire went to the Gehrig house to console Eleanor. Mayor La Guardia ordered flags in New York to be flown at half-staff, and major-league ballparks around the nation did likewise.

Following the funeral across the street from his house at Christ Episcopal Church of Riverdale, Gehrig's remains were cremated and scattered on June 4 at Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York, which is 21 miles north of Yankee Stadium in suburban Westchester County. Lou Gehrig and Ed Barrow are both interred in the same section of Kensico Cemetery, which is next door to Gate of Heaven Cemetery, where the graves of Babe Ruth and Billy Martin are both located in Section 25.

The Gehrigs had no children during their eight-year marriage. Eleanor never remarried and was quoted as saying, "I had the best of it. I would not have traded two minutes of my life with that man for 40 years with another." She dedicated the remainder of her life to supporting ALS research. She died 43 years after Lou on her 80th birthday, March 6, 1984, and was interred with him in Kensico Cemetery.


Lou Gehrig funeral at Christ Episcopal Church in Riverdale, Bronx, June 4, 1941


Lou Gehrig Way in New Rochelle, New York: He lived in a modest home at 9 Meadow Lane in the Residents Park section near the College of New Rochelle.


Lou and Eleanor Gehrig's headstone in Kensico Cemetery (the year of his birth was erroneously inscribed as "1905"

Today the ALS treatment and research center at his alma mater, Columbia University is named The Eleanor and Lou Gehrig ALS Center. Located at NewYork–Presbyterian / Columbia University Medical Center, they help those today and in the future who suffer from with ALS and the related motor neuron diseases primary lateral sclerosis and progressive muscular atrophy.

</snip>




4 replies, 371 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 4 replies Author Time Post
Reply 80 Years Ago Today; Lou Gehrig retires, states he's "The Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth" (Original post)
Dennis Donovan Jul 4 OP
Kid Berwyn Jul 4 #1
BeyondGeography Jul 4 #2
brewens Jul 4 #3
Dennis Donovan Jul 4 #4

Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Thu Jul 4, 2019, 07:34 AM

1. A graduate of Columbia University.

Teared me up...a guy unqualified to apply there — or play first base for the Yankees.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Thu Jul 4, 2019, 07:38 AM

2. Great thread, thanks

Luckiest man is American time capsule stuff. Never gets old.

Amazing they got that headstone wrong; there was never any confusion about his age. What a flub.

He was and remains the best 1st baseman ever.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Thu Jul 4, 2019, 07:58 AM

3. Gehrig died from "Lou Gehrigs disease". What are the odds on that? :) n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Dennis Donovan (Original post)

Thu Jul 4, 2019, 03:57 PM

4. Yesterday was the 80th anniversary of the dumbest sports column in history...



What a complete dirtbag.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread