03-17-2014 / By:
Lou Gehrig, a monumental ball player was a product of Columbia University and left his mark on baseball as well as his name on a dreadful disease. How could this 6 foot 1 inch, 215 pound first baseman for the Yankees have contracted such a serious illness? During his fifteen year career, Gehrig used a Hillerich and Bradsby Louisville Slugger bat, Model GE 69 with a 2 1/2 to 2 5/8 inch barrel, 34 inches in length and weighing 38 ounces.
Gehrig's stats simply boggle the mind. He averaged 141 RBI's and 134 runs scored for fourteen years. He hit 493 home runs with a career batting average of .340. Lou Gehrig, often called "Iron Horse" for his 2,130 consecutive games, was also known as a "run producing machine". Gehrig and Ruth formed the greatest one-two punch in the history of baseball.
As captain of the Yankees in 1936, Lou's skills showed signs of eroding. While in Detroit, he decided to take himself out of the line-up. In May of 1939, doctors discovered that Gehrig was dying of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a form of Infantile Paralysis. The Yankees then announced that July 4, 1939 would be Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day. On that day 63,000 fans honored "The Pride of the Yankees". Lou addressed the crowd and said in part, "I may have been given a bad break but I have an awful lot to live for. I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth." After the 1939 season, Gehrig took a job with the New York Parole Board. His condition continued to deteriorate and it became necessary for him to give up his job. This great baseball player died at home on June 2, 1941.