Major League Baseball announced various activities that have been coordinated by the league, its clubs and the Lou Gehrig Day Committee to celebrate the second annual “Lou Gehrig Day” on Thursday, June 2.
The efforts include special moments at ballparks and reflections of stories about individuals who have been affected by Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), otherwise known as “Lou Gehrig’s disease.”
Many teams worked closely with the Lou Gehrig Day Committee to develop these special activations, which include participation by the ALS community in ceremonial first pitches, on-field recognition, and more.
The Los Angeles Dodgers will have Anthony Carbahal throwing the first pitch electronically from his chair. Carbahal is an ALS patient himself, and before being diagnosed was his mother’s caregiver. Carbahal’s mom also was diagnosed with ALS.
Since 2017, he has personally raised $4 million for ALS research through the “Ice Bucket Challenge.”
The Dodgers will have Teresa Thurtle as their special guest and present her with a “Community Hero” Award as well as a $2,500 check to her nonprofit, “Bottom’s Up.” Thurtle has been an advocate for ALS patients and families since she was a teenage girl.
ALS runs in her family, as her grandmother and father both passed from the disease. Thurtle and her brother both carry the ALS gene, so it is possible she can be diagnosed in her lifetime. She is also a medically retired veteran, who advocates for military families undergoing ALS therapy.
The Dodgers additionally have several organizations attend their game, with plans for special acknowledgment, including Augie’s Quest, Bottom’s Up, ALS Therapy Development Institute and the ALS Association Golden West Chapter.
Each home team also will display “4-ALS” logos in ballparks, commemorating Gehrig’s No. 4 uniform number. Additionally, all players, managers and coaches will wear a special “Lou Gehrig Day” patch on uniforms. Red “4-ALS” wristbands will also be available to be worn in-game.
Clubs with an off day or that are on the road on June 2 can observe Lou Gehrig Day on a separate date.
MLB and the Lou Gehrig Day Committee selected the Sean M. Healey and AMG Center for ALS at Massachusetts General Hospital (Healey & AMG Center for ALS) as the beneficiary for all charitable fundraising efforts centralized out of the Commissioner’s Office.
Individual teams will continue to work directly with, and fundraise for, national or local organizations that they have historically supported. Additionally, fans can donate directly to the Healey Center for ALS at MLB.com/4ALS.
Additionally, MLB is running a special charity auction to benefit the Healey & AMG Center for ALS. The auction will feature 30 autographed and authenticated Lou Gehrig Day Commemorative Baseballs, one for each MLB Club.
There will also be content shown on MLB Network, MLB.com, MLB social media accounts and ALS organizations, including several stories that highlight Gehrig’s life, legacy and career, and feature people in the game who have a connection to ALS and the fight to cure the disease.
Gehrig’s legacy on and off the field will be spotlighted by recognizing his career milestones through stat graphics, storytelling album and notable videos.
History of Lou Gehrig Day
In 2021, Lou Gehrig joined fellow Baseball Legends Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente as the only players whose legacies are celebrated annually with dedicated, league-wide days.
June 2 was specifically chosen as the date for Lou Gehrig Day as it marks when he became the Yankees starting first baseman, thus cementing the start of his incredible streak of consecutive games played, as well as the day he passed from complications of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
The focus of Lou Gehrig Day is on three pillars: remembering the legacy of Gehrig and all those lost to the disease that bears his name, raising awareness and funds for research of ALS and supporting the needs of the ALS Community, and celebrating the groups and individuals who have led the pursuit for cures.
In 1925, Gehrig became the Yankees’ starting first baseman on his way to his legendary streak of 2,130 consecutive games played, which ended on April 30, 1939 and would stand for more than 60 years.
Gehrig’s career is highlighted with two American League Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards, a Triple Crown, six World Series championships, seven All-Star appearances and the 1934 batting title.
His farewell speech to the baseball world on July 4, 1939, amid the struggles of a debilitating disease, displayed the humanity and grace that has become synonymous with his legacy. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in December 1939.
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!