MLB's Lou Gehrig Day to celebrate his legacy, the ongoing fight against ALS
Major League Baseball will be celebrating its first “Lou Gehrig Day” on June 2 during the 2021 season and beyond, joining Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente who also have their legacies celebrated annually.
MLB says June 2 was chosen because it marks when Gehrig became the starting first basemen for the New York Yankees. It's the day in 1925 when Gehrig filled in for Wally Pipp - and history followed.
June 2 also marks the day of his death in 1941 from complications of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
According to the league, Lou Gehrig Day will focus on three pillars:
- Remembering the legacy of Gehrig and all those lost to the disease that bears his name
- Raising awareness and funds for research of ALS
- Celebrating the groups and individuals who have led the pursuit for cures.
It was made possible through a campaign led by the “Lou Gehrig Day Committee”, which is comprised of individuals, family and friends affected by ALS, as well as organizations leading the way on awareness and fundraising for the movement to end the disease.
Fundraising for ALS became a viral craze several years ago through the “Ice Bucket Challenge.” It was founded by Pat Quinn Jr., a Yonkers man who succumbed to the disease in November 2020. His father, Pat Quinn Sr. says his son was “proud and honored to be an active supporter of plans for Lou Gehrig Day.”
“We are pleased to see this celebration come to fruition, and we hope that this day across Major League Baseball will inspire everyone to come together in the fight against ALS,” he said in prepared remarks.
When Gehrig took himself out of the lineup in 1939, he had posted 2,721 hits, 493 home runs, 1,995 RBI, two American League Most Valuable Player awards and six World Series titles.
In 34 World Series games, Gehrig batted .361 with 10 homers and 35 RBI.