Lou Gehrig Celebrity LifeLou Gehrig was a professional baseball player who played in major league baseball between the years 1920-1930 for the New York Yankees. He had a successful career, winning the Triple Crown once, being a member of six World Series champion teams and being the most valuable player twice in the American League.
He holds the record of the highest ratio of runs scored till today and was also elected to the baseball Hall of Fame in the year 1939. Lou was forced to end his career and retire at the young age of 36, after he was diagnosed with ALS, and went on to succumb to the disease two years later.
He was born in New York to German immigrants who had moved to the United States a few years before his birth. Gehrig proved to be a gifted sportsperson from a very early age and was a talented athlete in football and baseball both.
After enrolling at Columbia University for engineering, he played for the football team and was a part of the school’s baseball team as well.
After recognizing his talent, The New York Yankees, in 1923, signed a professional contract with Lou, the same year when the Yankee stadium opened. Signing the deal gave Lou a sum of 1500 dollars, allowing his family to move to the suburbs and him to pursue baseball permanently.
Road to Success
Gehrig debuted as a Yankee, in June 1923, a mere two months after signing the contract. He was introduced to the team’s lineup in order to replace an aging teammate and first baseman, Wally Pipp. This was a major move because it allowed Lou to set a major league baseball record by playing in over 2,130 games.
As a result, in 1931, he set an American League record by clubbing 184 RBIs and just two years later, he also claimed the prized Triple Crown by leading the league in home runs.
In his entire baseball career, he led the club to six championships and was also a powerful force in the World Series as well.
By 1939, he had a bad start to the baseball season owing to weakness. He checked into the Mayo clinic and after conducting several tests, it was found that he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
This disease strips nerve cells of their ability to interact with the body’s muscles. Because of this diagnosis, many people came to be aware of this disease and it was later renamed as Lou Gehrig’s disease after his death.
After being diagnosed with the disease, Gehrig was forced to retire from the lineup and from baseball. However, he returned to the Yankees stadium one last time, because the team wanted to hold a day in his honor.
It was after his retirement, that he was elected into the baseball’s Hall of Fame in New York and the Yankees also retired his uniform which was a first in baseball history.
Lou’s health started getting even worse by 1941. Consequently, he was confined to his home and was too weak to even sign his name. By June 2, 1941, the baseball legend had passed away in his sleep at his home in the city of New York.
In 1941, At Yankee Stadium, in Monument Park, he even has a monument in his honor dedicated by the Yankees. The Baseball Writers’ Association of America even voted Lou Gehrig as the greatest baseball player of all time in 1969.
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