A MLB graphic for Lou Gehrig Day and ALS research. A MLB graphic for Lou Gehrig Day and ALS research. (MLB.com.)

The sports world has seen many figures facing neurogenerative disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. One of the most prominent was New York Yankees’ first baseman Lou Gehrig, to the degree that the disorder has sometimes been called “Lou Gehrig’s disease.”

For the last four years, Major League Baseball has celebrated June 2 as Lou Gehrig Day, beginning on the 80th anniversary of his passing in 2021. This one also marks the 99th anniversary of Gehrig becoming the Yankees’ first baseman in 1925 (taking over from Wally Pipp, he’d go on to start a then-record 2,130 games there). That’s sparked several tributes to Gehrig from MLB itself, MLB Network, the MLBPA, and many media members, along with calls to keep investing in ALS research (MLB has a landing page with ways to support that here) to help those like MLB.com reporter and researcher Sarah Langs who are currently battling the disease. To start with, here’s a Langs-voiced piece, via MLB Network:

“So today, as we honor the legacy of Lou Gehrig and those battling ALS, let’s continue to stand together. Let’s continue to raise awareness, support research, and provide comfort to those in need. Because with the support of Major League Baseball and its amazing fans, as well as the strength and spirit of the ALS community, I know that one day we will find a cure.”

Langs also picked a player from each team to sign one of their Topps cards, which will be auctioned off to support ALS research at Massachusetts General Hospital’s neurology department:

And many spoke up in particular support of Langs, who will appear on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball broadcast this evening:

Here are some further Lou Gehrig Day tributes from MLB, the MLBPA, the Baseball Hall of Fame, MLB Network, media members, fans, and more:

There are even Lou Gehrig Day events in other countries, and in other sports:

MLB’s celebration of Lou Gehrig Day since 2021 has been a positive force, a particular way to raise discussion of ALS and funds for research into it. It’s good to see that tradition going strong, and to see so much support for those in the baseball community like Langs who are currently battling the disease.


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.