Phillies continue mission to #StrikeOutALS on second annual Lou Gehrig Night at Friday's game against the Los Angeles Angels

Ballpark-wide event to feature pregame recognition of The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter and its patients, as well as raise awareness and funds for research and care advocacy

June 2nd, 2022

The Phillies are continuing their mission of raising awareness for ALS, the always-fatal neurodegenerative disease, at their ballpark-wide Lou Gehrig Night on Friday, June 3, with the goal of raising over $225,000 to #StrikeOutALS at that night’s 7:05 game against the Los Angeles Angels. Throughout the evening, the team will honor the legacy of Lou Gehrig, the Yankees player who tragically succumbed to ALS, as well as the tireless work of The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter. Together, the Phillies and The ALS Association have raised over $20 million since 1984, when their partnership began.

This year’s Lou Gehrig Night has even more special meaning to the Phillies family, as pitchers Aaron Nola and Nick Nelson both have lost uncles to ALS. Nola and Nelson will speak about their personal connection to ALS, as well as the Phillies’ longstanding relationship with The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter, in a pregame video which will be shown that night on PhanaVision.

“For more than three decades, we have had the honor and privilege of meeting so many brave individuals who courageously battled this horrible disease,” said John Weber, Phillies Charities, Inc. President. “The need to find a cure remains, and we’re grateful to Major League Baseball and all its clubs for joining the fight to strike out ALS with the second annual Lou Gehrig Night.”

Also featured in the PhanaVision video will be ALS patient and retired Army Lt. Colonel Chuck Schretzman, a Philadelphia veteran and West Point graduate, and his daughter, Chloe, a 2022 West Point graduate, addressing the team this year. In addition, many current and former players who have come to know the patients over the years through The ALS Association will provide testimonials about the fight to strike out ALS.

Prior to the game, Schretzman will take the field to be recognized by the Phillies, along with ALS patients Denise Naylor from Bucks County, Pa.; Bryan Rosica, a teacher at Buckingham Elementary School from Buckingham, Pa.; and Stephanie Kemezis, from North Wales, Pa. All those being recognized will have the honor of simultaneously throwing that night’s ceremonial first pitches to players, who will also stand alongside the patients during the national anthem.

“Since 1984, the Philadelphia Phillies have raised over $20 million for the ALS cause to honor the legacy of Lou Gehrig and to lift up the needs of countless ALS families,” said Ellyn Phillips, Chair Emeritus of The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter. “This is a total team effort by the Phillies organization and it all began when my mother Malvina Charlestein met with Nancy Giles to form this enduring relationship. Thank you to everyone at the Phillies and their fans for all you do to Strike Out ALS.”


In addition to honoring individuals and families who have been affected by ALS at the game, there will also be various ways fans can support the cause, with monies raised to provide much-needed patient services and research for those battling the disease. Highlights include:

  • On the field, players will wear a Lou Gehrig Day patch on their uniforms, as well as red “4-ALS” wristbands, commemorating Gehrig’s uniform number “4”. The “4-ALS” logo will also be on display.
  • An ALS Awareness Phillies Theme Night Ticket for the June 3 game is available for fans, with $4 per ticket going back to the cause.
  • Phillies Grab Bags sponsored by Hatfield Quality Meats, which include autographed Phillies memorabilia and giveaways, will be available to purchase for $30 each.
  • Fans can participate in the Phillies Charities, Inc. 50/50 Drawing, presented by DraftKings, with proceeds benefiting The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter.
  • Unique memorabilia and experiences are available to bid online at through June 4. Proceeds benefit The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter.
  • Other highlights include a ceremonial base change by patient Jacob Copeland and his caregiver at the end of the third inning. ALS patients and their caregivers will also dance with the Phillie Phanatic at the end of the fifth and seventh innings, and Phillies alumni will visit their suite at the game.
  • To further promote awareness about ALS, fans coming to the game will receive a Lou Gehrig Night commemorative print.


Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig joins 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 Gehrig 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), otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The focus of Lou Gehrig Day will be on three pillars: (1) remembering the legacy of Gehrig and all those lost to the disease that bears his name; (2) raising awareness and funds for research of ALS and supporting the needs of the ALS Community; and (3) celebrating the groups and individuals who have led the pursuit for cures. This special occasion follows a campaign led by the “Lou Gehrig Day Committee” (, which is comprised of individuals, family and friends affected by ALS, as well as organizations leading the way on awareness and fundraising for the movement to end the disease.


For more than 40 years, the Greater Philadelphia Chapter has worked to improve the quality of life for people with ALS by supporting vital ALS research and direct care services to patients and their families, as well as engaging in advocacy at the state and federal levels. They serve more than 1,200 people each year and cover a broad service area that encompasses eastern and central Pennsylvania, central and southern New Jersey, and all of Delaware.


ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that can strike anyone at any time. People with ALS lose the ability to control their muscles, which affects their ability to walk, talk, eat, and eventually breathe. There are an estimated 20,000-30,000 people living with ALS. There is no significant treatment to extend life or cure ALS, but there are currently several potential treatments in late-stage clinical trials.


Affectionately known as the “Iron Horse,” Lou Gehrig is one of the greatest players in all of baseball history. On June 2, 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. Gehrig succumbed to ALS on June 2, 1941.