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Major League Baseball Celebrates Lou Gehrig Day, Raises Funds to Fight ALS

 Leif Skodnick  |    Jun 2nd, 2023 4:36pm EDT

Raimel Tapia of the Toronto Blue Jays stands on third base as the Blue Jays celebrate Lou Gehrig Day 2022. June 2 is the anniversary of the start of Gehrig’s streak of 2,130 consecutive games played as well as the anniversary of Gehrig’s death from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Staff Reports
World Baseball Network

It was 98 years ago today – June 2, 1925 – that Lou Gehrig replaced Wally Pipp at first base for the New York Yankees and started a consecutive game streak that stood as a Major League record for 60 years.

And it was 82 years ago today that Gehrig, felled by Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, passed away at the age of 38.

Major League Baseball is honoring Gehrig’s legacy around the league today with the third annual Lou Gehrig Day, celebrating those seeking to find a cure for the disease, honor those living with ALS, and remember those whose lives have been lost to this disease.

Across Major League Baseball today, players and coaches will wear a Lou Gehrig Day patch on their uniforms, and MLB.com will have a special auction of game-used Lou Gehrig Day bats.

On Monday, June 5, the Philadelphia Phillies will host ALS Awareness Night at Citizens Bank Park. The event, which partners the team and the ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter, has been held by the Phillies since 1984.

“Since 1984, the Philadelphia Phillies have led the fight to Strike Out ALS and to honor the legacy of Lou Gehrig,” said ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter Board Chair Emeritus Ellyn Phillips, who lost her husband to ALS in 1984, in a Phillies press release. “This money raised by the Phillies organization and their fans will directly benefit vital care programs for ALS families and get us closer to a cure.”

Last year, the Phillies’ ALS Awareness Night raised $344,000, the team’s release announcing the event said.

Also in conjunction with Lou Gehrig Day, the New York Yankees announced that MLB.com writer and researcher Sarah Langs, who is living with ALS, would be honored on the field at Yankee Stadium on July 4, the anniversary of Gehrig’s famous “Luckiest Man” speech, before the Yankees’ 1:05 p.m. game against Baltimore. The event will be part of the Yankees annual H.O.P.E. week, where the Yankees honor and bring attention to stories intended to inspire others to take positive action in the community.

Langs, a New York City native, graduated from the University of Chicago in 2015 and has worked with ESPN and MLB.com as a reporter and researcher. She announced her ALS diagnosis in 2022. She was the recipient of the Baseball Writers Association of America New York Chapter’s “You Could Look It Up” Award, noting in her acceptance speech, “There are a lot of people who are not faced with something like this who are just as loved and appreciated. I want to make sure that those people know it, and I am trying to make them my mission — in addition to making sure that everybody loves baseball.”

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Leif Skodnick