MLB: 75th Anniversary of Lou Gehrig’s Speech
75 years ago today, Lou Gehrig gave his famous “Luckiest Man” speech in the Bronx. Teams and umpires pay tribute this Independence Day by wearing a special patch during today’s games, and the MLB donated 300,000 to the battle against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
The Twins played a tribute video prior to their game on Friday, featuring many players across the MLB who quoted different parts of the speech.
The Iron Horse built up an impressive list of achievements throughout his career. In 1932, he was the first player to hit four home runs in a game and held the record for most grand slams until 2013 with 23.
Like most players, Gehrig had his fair share of reasons to take a game off, whether it was injury or illness, but he played an impressive 2,130 consecutive games.
Today, the action of retiring numbers in sports is common and practiced among many teams. Gehrig was the first athlete whose number was retired, after the Yankees retired his number 4 jersey in 1939.
Another first for the athlete was the Triple Crown win, hitting .363, tattooing 49 homers, and batting in 165.
The hall of famer leads the AL in RBI’s, and the Yankees in triples and doubles, tied with Derek Jeter for 534 doubles.
As a Yankee for a period of seventeen years, Gehrig accomplished what many ball players can’t. July 4,1939, “Lou Gehrig Day” was held at Yankee Stadium, and a speech was given before thousands to go down in history as one of the most significant dates in baseball.
75 years after the speech, his legacy continues to live on.
“Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”