Gehrig played for the Yankees from 1923-1939. He was a 6-time World Series champion and a 7-time All-Star.
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Lou Gehrig’s Early Life
Lou Gehrig was born in New York City in 1903. He was raised in a poor family and had to help his father with work from a young age. At age nine, Gehrig was already working as a delivery boy for a local grocery store. He attended PS 132 and then Commerce High School, where he excelled in baseball, football, and basketball.
Born in New York City
Lou Gehrig was born in New York City on June 19, 1903. His parents, Heinrich and Christina Gehrig, had emigrated from Germany in the 1880s. Lou was the youngest of four children; his sisters were Lillian and Emma, and his brother Walter died in infancy. Heinrich worked as a bartender and later as a lithographer; Christina stayed at home to care for the children. The family lived in a tenement on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and young Lou grew up playing sandlot baseball with other kids in the neighborhood.
Lou Gehrig was born on June 19, 1903, in New York City. Gehrig’s parents, Heinrich and Christina Gehrig, were both German immigrants. His father worked as a janitor, and his mother was a homemaker. Gehrig had two younger sisters, Daisy and Mamie. When Gehrig was about 4 years old, his father changed the family’s last name from “Gehring” to “Gehrig.”
As a young boy, Gehrig loved baseball and would often play catch with his father or with friends in the street. He attended school at P.S. 132 in Harlem and went on to Commerce High School. In high school, he played both baseball and football. At 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighing 190 pounds, he was considered too big to play football in college, so he focused on baseball.
Gehrig’s health as a child
Though Gehrig was an excellent student and athlete, he was frequently ill as a child. He had a congenital heart condition that required surgery when he was nine years old, and he also battled colds, measles, and mumps throughout his childhood. As a result of his illnesses, Gehrig missed a great deal of school; he eventually dropping out altogether to focus on baseball.
Lou Gehrig’s Baseball Career
From 1923 to 1939, Lou Gehrig was the first baseman for the New York Yankees. Gehrig was a huge part of the Yankees’ success during that time, helping them win six World Series titles. He was also named the American League’s MVP twice. Gehrig’s career came to an abrupt end in 1939 when he was diagnosed with ALS.
Gehrig’s college baseball career
From 1925 to 1927, Gehrig played collegiate baseball for Columbia University. He was widely considered one of the best players in the country during his time there. He helped lead Columbia to a championship in 1927, his final year with the team. In three years at Columbia, Gehrig hit .313 with 24 home runs and 135 RBIs.
Playing for the Yankees
Lou Gehrig played for the New York Yankees from 1923-1939. He was a first baseman and helped the team win seven World Series championships. Gehrig was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939, and his number (4) was retired by the Yankees in 1941. He died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in 1941, and the disease is now commonly known as “Lou Gehrig’s disease.”
Gehrig’s health and baseball
Lou Gehrig was a professional baseball player for the New York Yankees from 1923 to 1939. He played in 2,130 consecutive games, a record that stood for more than 50 years. Gehrig was an excellent hitter and was selected for six All-Star teams. He won the American League batting title in 1934 and was the league’s most valuable player in 1927 and 1936. Gehrig’s career came to an abrupt end in 1939 when he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a disease that attacks the nervous system. He died two years later at the age of 37.
Lou Gehrig’s Later Life
After Gehrig’s diagnosis with ALS, he continued to make public appearances and fight the disease. He gave a now-famous speech at Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939, declaring himself “the luckiest man on the face of the earth” despite his condition. Gehrig died two years later at the age of 37.
Gehrig’s health deteriorates
In 1938, Gehrig began to experience the symptoms of ALS. He started to lose strength in his hands and had difficulty writing. He also began to slur his speech. Initially, Gehrig tried to play through his injuries, but by May he was forced to take himself out of the lineup. The Yankees went on to win the World Series that year, but Gehrig did not play in the postseason.
In 1939, Gehrig’s health continued to decline. He could no longer dress or bat for himself and had to be helped off the field after making the final out of his final game on April 30. On June 2, he was diagnosed with ALS. The disease gradually paralyzed him and he died on June 2, 1941, at the age of 37.
Retirement from baseball
Gehrig formally retired from baseball on July 4, 1939. In his retirement announcement, Gehrig stated that it was “the greatest honor of my life” to have played for the New York Yankees for 17 seasons. Gehrig’s uniform number 4 was later retired by the Yankees, and he was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939.
Lou Gehrig died of Lou Gehrig’s disease on June 2, 1941, about two years after he retired from baseball. His disease is now commonly known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).