NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Major League Baseball is honoring Lou Gehrig on the 75th anniversary of his famed “luckiest man” speech.
The Hall of Famer was suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis when he spoke at Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939. The first baseman died two years later from ALS at age 37.
MLB players, managers, coaches and umpires will wear a commemorative patch on July Fourth. The tribute will include a video shown at all ballparks featuring a first baseman from each team reciting a line from Gehrig’s speech. Yankees captain Derek Jeter also appears in the video.
MLB is donating $300,000 to organizations that fight against Lou Gehrig’s disease.
“When Lou Gehrig delivered his historic farewell speech at Yankee Stadium 75 years ago, he indelibly linked our national pastime to the fight against the disease that would bear his name,” Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement last month.
The Yankees honored Gehrig in the Bronx on Wednesday. New York will play in Minnesota on Friday afternoon.
“It means so much to us,” ALS Association Greater New York Chapter president Dorine Gordon told the Yankees’ official website. “It certainly raises the profile of our cause, because Lou Gehrig is synonymous with the Yankees, and it really means a lot to us in terms of raising awareness. And, of course, Lou Gehrig was such a great role model for so many both on and off the field. It’s been an inspiration to some of our patients.”
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