70 years ago Lou Gehrig gave his infamous farewell speech in between games during a double header at Yankee Stadium.
“For the past two weeks you have been reading about a bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth,” Gehrig said. “I have been in ballparks for 17 years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.”
Gehrig uttered the words during a speech that would go down in history as he was slowing dying of an unknown disease that would ultimately be coined is his name. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS took his life.
Major League Baseball has teamed up with four non-profit organizations to find a cure for the disease that destroys the nerve cells that control muscles and cause complete paralysis and death upon 3-5 years after diagnosis.
In addition to their work, every stadium will have a reading of Gehrig’s speech during the seventh inning stretch on July 4th.