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Seventy years ago today on July 4, 1939, New York Yankees legend Lou Gehrig made one of the most famous speeches in sport’s history with his “Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth” speech.

In this speech, Gehrig told fans at Yankee Stadium he was grateful for the great career he had, and for all of the support he got from everyone around him during his life.

But, Gehrig also told everyone that he was now retiring as he had gotten Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (or ALS), which is a disease that kills people by shutting down the neurons that go to the brain, which stops voluntary movement throughout the body, and eventually kills everybody who gets it.

Earlier in 1939, Gehrig started to get these symptoms in his arms, and went to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota to find out what was happening to him, and he got diagnosed with ALS, which forced him to end his career.

After retirement, Gehrig went to work as a Parole Commissioner for New York City, but Gehrig’s condition was deteriorating him rapidly, which caused him to have a hard time to do any common function.

On June 2, 1941, Gehrig was found dead in his home from this disease, and ended his painful fight with ALS.

Now, 70 years later, Major League Baseball is making an important tribute to Gehrig as one player from each team will read the speech to the crowd during today’s game, and each player will wear an ALS patch on their jersey.

With these tributes to Gehrig, baseball is showing us what Gehrig did on the field on July 4, 1939 at Yankee Stadium was an extremely important moment in baseball history, and it’s great they are doing this to commemorate the Yankee legend.

Finally, in his speech, Gehrig told everyone that he truly was the luckiest man on the face of the earth. That is true, as we all will get a great moment to remember Gehrig for what he was, which was a great ballplayer and human being.

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