Lou “The Iron Horse” Gehrig was one of baseball's most beloved players and to this day remains a New York Legend.
Gehrig is the definition of a 'homegrown' ball player. Born in New York in 1903, Gehrig was a stand-out football and baseball player while attending Princeton University until 1923 when the Bombers took notice and signed Gehrig for a whopping $1,500. Over the Next 15 years Gehrig never looked back as he established himself as one of the greatest to ever play the game.
Just two months after signing with the Bombers, Gehrig made his professional debut. This set in motion a streak in which Gehrig set a baseball record by playing in 2,130 consecutive games and thus earning the nickname “The Iron Horse”. Gehrigs record was not broken until 1995, when Cal Ripken Jr. Eclipsed the mark.
His Hall of Fame career saw him score 100 runs and knock in at least 100 RBIs in 13 consecutive seasons. In 1931, he set an American League record by clubbing 184 RBIs, and in 1932, he became the third player to hit four home runs in a single game (it's only been done 16 times ever). In the World Series, Gehrig was off the charts batting .361 over the course of his career, while leading the club to six championships.
In 1939 Gehrig’s career, health, and life took a turn. He began having trouble with simple daily tasks such as tying his show laces, and his body began to fail him. On May 2nd, 1939, Gehrig pulled himself from the lineup in order to check himself into the Mayo Clinic, effectively bringing the ‘Ironman” streak to a close. Following multiple tests Lou was informed that he was suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Gehrig's diagnosis of ALS helped to put a spotlight on the condition, coining the term "Lou Gehrig's Disease".
On July 4th, 1939, in what will go down as one of the most impactful moments in baseball history, Gehrig stood in front of a sold-out stadium to deliver his farewell speech.
“Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth.” - Lou Gehrig