Thursday, July 4, 2013

Lou Gehrig's Farewell Speech

Today is the anniversary of Lou Gehrig's famous farewell speech at Yankee Stadium.  So I thought I will give you the actual speech at a bit of video of it.
For those who don't know,  Lou Gehrig was a star first basemen for the New York Yankees from 1923-39.  He played a then record 2,130 straight games before acquiring amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which ended his streak and of course eventually his life.  Today ALS is also called Lou Gehrig's disease.
On July 4, 1939, Gehrig gave his farewell speech to the fans at Yankee Stadium. He was also honored in having his uniform number 4 retired by the Yankees.  The first ever player in MLB history to have his number retired by a team. Here is his 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 the earth. I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.
Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn’t consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day? Sure, I’m lucky. Who wouldn’t consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball’s greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy? Sure, I'm lucky.
When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift — that’s something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies — that’s something. When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter — that's something. When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so that you can have an education and build your body — it's a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed — that's the finest I know.
So I close in saying that I might have been given a bad break, but I've got an awful lot to live for. Thank you."

and a video:

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