Lou Gehrig, one of the greatest baseball players of all time, is perhaps best remembered for a speech he gave at Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939. He had learned that he was suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a degenerative nerve disease that gradually makes it impossible to eat or even breathe, and was leaving the team and saying goodbye to his teammates and his fans. My uncle died of ALS, and in the A to Z Challenge three years ago I talked about the disease and how it took his life and that of Bishop Romeo Blanchette, the former Bishop of Joliet, Illinois.
Friday was the 75th anniversary of Gehrig’s speech, and in honor of the event the players all wore a commemorative patch on their jerseys. Major League Baseball Productions filmed a video in which all thirty Major League first basemen (Gehrig’s position) and Derek Jeter, the current captain of the Yankees, spoke the lines of that speech. The result is a wonderful tribute to Gehrig, and drives home the message that we still don’t have a cure for the disease.
My compliments to MLB Productions on a job well done.