Baseball Raises ALS Awareness Across the Country with 4th Annual Lou Gehrig Day

Lou-Gehrig-2024-Blog-Header

As May and ALS Awareness Month comes to a close, we turn our attention to another annual opportunity shine a light on everyone, everywhere who is living with ALS—Lou Gehrig Day across Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball.

Baseball has a lot of traditions -- from the ceremonial first pitch to the 7th Inning Stretch and “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” to rally caps and hot dogs. But there is a newer tradition of particular importance to both the baseball and ALS communities.

Image
Lou-Gehrig

Since 2021, June 2 has been celebrated as Lou Gehrig Day by Major League Baseball (MLB) in ballparks across the country -- a day to help spread awareness and raise funds for people living with ALS and their families. In a sport filled with so many traditions, Lou Gehrig Day is one of just three league-wide days celebrated annually honoring legendary players along with Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente days.

The date of Lou Gehrig Day is appropriate for multiple reasons. June 2 marks the date when Gehrig became the New York Yankees starting first baseman in 1925—the start of his incredible streak of consecutive games playedas well as the day he passed away from ALS in 1941. June 2 falls on a Sunday this year, meaning all 30 MLB teams will be playing on Lou Gehrig Day.

“Lou Gehrig Day is more than just a game; it is a tribute to courage, resilience, and hope,” said ALS Association Sports and Entertainment Vice President, Steve Becvar.

Each year we are so happy to join the baseball and ALS communities together to honor the legacy of one of the greatest baseball players of all time and raise awareness and funds for ALS research and care.”
Image
LG-Day-2024

While each Lou Gehrig Day celebration is unique to the city and team hosting, many will include pre-game ceremonies and first pitches, special on-field presentations, guest speakers, special seating areas for people with ALS and their families, and fundraising initiatives. Players, managers and coaches will all wear Lou Gehrig Day uniform patches.

Lou Gehrig Day in Philadelphia, when the Phillies host the St. Louis Cardinals, will have added significance for Phillies pitcher, Aaron Nola, who lost his uncle Alan Andries to ALS in 2021. Nola is ensuring the memory of his uncle lives on by donating $1,000 per strikeout to the ALS Association through the Big League Impact fundraising campaign.

“I have seen first-hand the devastating impact of ALS,” said Nola. “My uncle Alan was an amazing man—so smart and positive. We need to strike out ALS in honor of all those families affected by this terrible disease.”

“We are grateful to Aaron and everyone in baseball who supports the fight against ALS,” said Larry Falivena, a person living with ALS who serves on the Lou Gehrig Day Committee and the ALS Association Board of Trustees.

Rizzos, Larry, and Brian
We may support different teams on the field, but off the field, we are all dedicated to making ALS livable and then curing it. We have made great strides in ALS care and research since Lou Gehrig was diagnosed and we have to keep the momentum going.”
Image
SD vs ALS

In addition to the activities taking place on June 2, many teams that are on the road for Lou Gehrig Day will host ALS Awareness games in their home stadiums at some point during the season. In fact, the San Diego Padres kicked off their Lou Gehrig Day celebration on May 29 as they took on the Miami Marlins. Unfortunately, the home team lost, but fun was had by all!

Today, in Milwaukee, the 15th annual Chasin’ a Cure tailgate will bring together more than 800 supporters, advocates and people living with ALS for food, music, and fellowship. “The Chasin’ a Cure tailgate is a staple in the community and continues to grow each and every year, we can’t wait for the celebration for all in attendance,” said ALS Association Development Manager, Dawn Wollenzien.

As far as traditions go, Lou Gehrig Day may be a newer one, but the connection between baseball and the fight to end ALS has been there since the disease took one of its most legendary stars. Each June 2 is a day to not only honor Lou Gehrig, but also an opportunity to join together to raise awareness about everyone living with ALS, everywhere, while we continue to work to cure it.

Learn more about Lou Gehrig Day activities and support your team HERE. Get your “ALL vs ALS” t-shirt in your team’s colors HERE.

To continue to follow stories about people living with ALS in the community and learn more about the disease, subscribe to receive our weekly blogs in your inbox HERE or follow us at als.org/blog.

SUBSCRIBE

We Want to Hear from You!
Your feedback is important to us. Please let us know what you think about our blog – take this short survey and provide your input and feedback.

Comments

Submitted by: Lisa C. on Sat, 06/01/2024

My brother, Marc, also passed away in May 2021 with a 3 month diagnosis of ALS. He was a huge Phillies fan and only 52. He also kept a positive attitude and was so grateful for all the help he received.

Submitted by: Stephanie O. on Wed, 06/05/2024

Our condolences on the loss of your brother, Lisa.

Join the conversation. Please comment below.

CAPTCHA
10 + 4 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.