Today is the 80th anniversary of the passing of Lou Gehrig, a Yankee Hall of Famer and perhaps one of the greatest players in history. In addition, it is the first Lou Gehrig Day ever observed by Major League Baseball.
Coaches and players will wear “Lou Gehrig Day” patches and 4-ALS red wristbands to promote awareness of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, the neurological condition Lou Gehrig died from and which is still a problem in the modern world.
Any teams playing at home today will display a “4- ALS” in their stadium. Lou Gehrig was one of the greatest players to ever play the game before he said his now-famous speech. Gehrig played in Monument Park for 79 years and was a 7-time All-Star, 2-time MVP, Triple Crown winner, and 6-time World Series champion.
He Held The Record For 14 Years Without Missing A Game.
With 2,130 games played consecutively, he set the record. He held the record for 14 years without missing a game. He was given the moniker “Iron Horse” for his tireless work ethic and commitment to never missing a game. The mark stood for 79 years before being broken 56 years later by Cal Ripken Jr.
Gehrig only had four seasons with an OPS below 1.000 and two seasons with an OPS below.900, giving you an idea of how significant a player he was.
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He had an OPS of 1.079 when his career was over. With over 1,000 plate appearances, only 8 players had an OPS of over 1000. One of them is Lou Gehrig, who ranks third all-time, ahead of Barry Bonds and Ted Williams but before Babe Ruth.
GehrigP Legacy Really Started To Affect
My coach wondered for three long seconds, with a wry smile, how a nine-year-old youngster could look up to a baseball great who played more than 60 years earlier. Okay, then, the fourth item is yours. And it was the time when Gehrig’s life and legacy really started to affect me. I wore the number “4” on my back with pride all the way up to high school ball.
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I didn’t need to change until my first year of college. A middle infielder standing 5’9″ received the number 4. I have, of course, been wearing “44” for the past two seasons. You might as well have two Gehrigs if you can’t have just one, right? Though Gehrig was a fantastic baseball player, he wasn’t the greatest to ever play the game. Babe Ruth, a member of his team, is a prime example of this.