In an effort to continue their mission of raising awareness for ALS, the Phillies are recognizing Lou Gehrig Day on Friday, June 4, before and during the 7:05 p.m. game against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. As part of the event, the Phillies 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 and its goal to #StrikeOutALS, the always-fatal neurodegenerative disease. Note: Lou Gehrig Day will be celebrated for the first time throughout Major League Baseball on June 2, when the Phillies are away.
The ballpark-wide event is a continuation of the team’s 37-year relationship with The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter. Since the club adopted the association as its primary charity in 1984, nearly $20 million has been raised for the cause, thanks to the support from players, coaches, sponsors, front office staff, and of course, loyal Phillies fans through the Phillies Phestival, an autograph and auction party to benefit ALS.
“The Phillies family has been a proud partner of The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter for 37 years,” said John Weber, Phillies Charities, Inc. President. “For more than three decades, we have had the honor and privilege of meeting so many brave individuals who courageously battled this awful disease. The need to find a cure remains. We’re pleased that Major League Baseball and all the clubs are behind this concerted effort to strike out ALS with the inaugural Lou Gehrig Day.”
"Our relationship with the Phillies began when my mother Malvina Charlestein and Nancy Giles met and agreed that ALS belongs in baseball because of Lou Gehrig," said Ellyn Phillips, Chair Emeritus with The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter. "Through the legacy of Lou Gehrig, countless ALS families have benefited from exceptional care as a result of the passionate work of the Phillies and MLB. We are forever grateful."
PHILLIES RECOGNITION OF LOU GEHRIG DAY
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:
· Ceremonial first pitch by retired Lieutenant Colonel Chuck Schretzman, a Philadelphia resident who was diagnosed six months after retiring from the Army, along with his wife, Stacy.
· ALS patients will be recognized on PhanaVision as part of pregame ceremonies, including Christine Moretti from Philadelphia who was diagnosed in 2016, and Jason Shipman from Gibbstown, NJ, who was diagnosed in 2014.
· Phillies pitcher Aaron Nola and legend Larry Bowa will be featured in a PhanaVision pregame video, as they discuss their personal connection to the cause and their involvement with the Phillies Phestival throughout the years.
· On the field, players will wear a special uniform decal honoring the inaugural MLB Lou Gehrig Day initiative, as well as red “4-ALS” wristbands.
· Grab bags of autographed Phillies memorabilia will be available to purchase for $20 each throughout the entire weekend.
· Fans can also participate in the Phillies Charities, Inc. 50/50 Drawing, presented by DraftKings, with proceeds benefiting The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter.
· The event will culminate with the closing of the Phantastic Auction, a Phillies.com event featuring once-in-a-lifetime experiences and memorabilia up for bid, with a portion of the proceeds to benefit the ALS cause.
For more information, visit Phillies.com.
ABOUT LOU GEHRIG DAY
Wednesday, June 2, was specifically chosen by MLB as the date for its first Lou Gehrig Day as it marks when Gehrig became the Yankees starting first baseman, the start of his incredible streak of consecutive games (2,130) played, as well as the day he passed away from ALS. Gehrig joins fellow legends Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente as the only players whose legacies are celebrated annually with dedicated, league-wide days.
ABOUT THE ALS ASSOCATION GREATER PHILADELPHIA CHAPTER
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. We 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 an always-fatal neurodegenerative disease in which a person’s brain loses connection and its muscles. People with ALS lose their ability to walk, talk, eat, and eventually breathe.