MLB now has a third universal day to honor a transcendent player, and his name is Lou Gehrig.
On Thursday, Major League Baseball announced that starting in 2021, every June 2 will be Lou Gehrig Day around the league, and the day will “honor and celebrate the legacy of the Hall of Fame first baseman and raise awareness and funds to fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the awful disease that ended Gehrig’s life and informally bears his name.”
“Major League Baseball is thrilled to celebrate the legacy of Lou Gehrig, whose humility and courage continue to inspire our society,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “While ALS has been closely identified with our game since Lou’s legendary career, the pressing need to find a cure remains. We look forward to honoring all the individuals and families, in baseball and beyond, who have been affected by ALS and hope Lou Gehrig Day advances efforts to defeat this disease.”
Gehrig joins Jackie Robinson (April 15, the day he broke baseball’s color barrier) and Roberto Clemente (Sept. 9) in having days celebrated in their honor by MLB. Lou Gehrig Days will see all players, managers and coaches wear a special uniform patch, with red “4-ALS” wristbands available to be worn in-game. Additional ceremonial details for each home park that day will be announced at a later date, per MLB.
June 2 was chosen as the date for its significance in Gehrig’s life and career; it was on that date in 1925 that “The Iron Horse” began his legendary streak of 2,130 games, and the sad date when, 16 years later, Gehrig passed away from ALS.
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