Among baseball’s greatest players, Yankees Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig passed away 80 years ago today. In addition, Major League Baseball has designated today as the first annual Lou Gehrig Day.
In honour of Lou Gehrig Day, any teams with home games today will display a “4-ALS” in their stadium, and coaches and players will wear “Lou Gehrig Day” patches and 4-ALS red wristbands to raise awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, the neurological disease that Lou Gehrig died from and continues to be an issue in the world.
Lou Gehrig, On the Job Effect
Lou Gehrig was one of baseball’s greatest players prior to his memorable speech. For 79 years, the name Lou Gehrig has adorned Monument Park in Washington, D.C., where he played baseball as a six-time World Series champion and seven-time All-Star. A record of 2,130 straight games was set by him over a 14-year period without his missing any of them. Known as the “Iron Horse” for his dedication to never missing a game, his tireless attitude earned him the nickname. Until Cal Ripken Jr. beat the mark 56 years later, the record had stood for 79 years.
He had only four seasons with an OPS below 1.000 and two seasons with an OPS below.900 to show how much of an impact player Gehrig was. He had a 1.079 OPS at the end of his career. Over 1,000 plate appearances, there are only eight players who have an OPS above 1000. They include Lou Gehrig, who ranks third all-time behind Ted Williams and Babe Ruth.
The lowest season of Gehrig’s career brought him an average of 133 WRC+. A career high 198 WRC+ was achieved by him. He was well-known for his penchant for driving in runs when racing. When it comes to batting average and on-base percentage, Lou ranks 2nd all-time with 185 and 18th all-time in WAR with 114.1. In addition, despite his penchant for crushing the ball, he had a career strikeout rate of only 8.2 percent.
These data only apply to the regular season. Toward the end of the season, Gehrig would break new records. When it came to playing in the playoffs, Gehrig had an OPS of 1.208 and a wRC+ of 194. Gehrig had a.545 batting average with four home runs and nine RBIs in the 1928 World Series. Additionally, he didn’t walk a batter in the postseason that year.
After a Profession
Even before Gehrig was diagnosed, he was not performing at his peak level and was intentionally omitted from the Yankees’ starting lineup because he believed it was harming the team’s chances of winning the World Series. In the following months, he was diagnosed with ALS, and his career was effectively over.
His influence on the game, former players and current players cannot be understated, despite the fact that Lou Gehrig played in a different era than today’s game. It was like he was playing video games for the rest of his illustrious career.
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It was at Yankee Stadium that he gave his most famous speech, “The Luckiest Guy on the Face of the Earth,” and even though he knew he was dying, he still considered himself “the luckiest man on the planet.” During his speech, he demonstrated that he didn’t take anything for granted. Not only did he thank his wife and family members but also his team-mates as well as the Yankees’ ground staff at the time.
He closed his well-known address by saying, “I may have been given a tough break, but I have an awful lot to live for.” Lou Gehrig