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Lou Gehrig

Baseball

Nicknames: Iron horse, Iron man, Iron man of baseball

Teams: New York Yankees (1923-1939)

Biography:

Lou Gehrig was a Hall of Fame first baseman who played for the New York Yankees from 1923 to 1939. He is best known for his nickname "The Iron Horse," which he earned after setting a Major League Baseball record by playing consecutively in 2,130 games. The record would stand until 1995 when it was finally surpassed by Baltimore Oriole shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. Lou Gehrig's impressive offensive power led him to score 100 runs and drive in at least as many RBIs in 13 consecutive seasons. Furthermore, he set the American League record with 184 RBIs during the 1931 season. One year later, he became the third player to knock four home runs in one game. In 1934, he was awarded baseball's Triple Crown by leading the American League in home runs, batting average and RBIs.

Lou Gehrig's baseball career began in 1923 after he impressed the New York Yankees with his hitting while playing baseball for Columbia University. Only two months after joining the Yankees, he replaced the aging Wally Pipp as the new starting first baseman. Gehrig and his teammate Babe Ruth would ultimately become an incredible power-hitting pair that led the Yankees to six World Series championships. Moreover, he achieved an impressive batting average of .361 over the course of his entire career with the New York Yankees.

Following a subpar season in 1938, Lou Gehrig feared that he could be fighting something other than the downslide of his long career with the Yankees. After finding it difficult to tie his shoes and do other simple tasks, he checked himself into the Mayo Clinic in 1939, only to find out that he was beginning to suffer from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The disease is now commonly referred to as "Lou Gehrig's disease" because of his long and devastating battle.

Lou Gehrig retired from baseball on May 2, 1939. However, on July 4th of that year, he returned to Yankee Stadium and delivered one of the most memorable speeches of all time in which he said, "Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth." He gave thanks and paid tribute to his family, teammates and fans for the career-long support. He bravely battled the debilitating disease up until his death in 1941. Today, Lou Gehrig is still known as one of the most beloved Yankees of all time.


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