A special collection of activities has been coordinated by Major League Baseball, its Clubs and the Lou Gehrig Day Committee to celebrate the inaugural “Lou Gehrig Day” on Wednesday, June 2nd. These efforts include special moments at Major League ballparks and a series of fundraising efforts aimed at supporting charitable organizations, notably the Expanded Access Protocol (EAP) program at the Sean M. Healey and AMG Center for ALS at Massachusetts General Hospital (Healey Center for ALS).
“4th INNING” VIDEO FEATURE STARRING STEVE GLEASON
ALS Advocate Steve Gleason will be featured in a special ballpark moment highlighted during the 4th inning (or pregame in some ballparks) of all Lou Gehrig Day games. During this moment, a video created especially for Lou Gehrig Day will be shown to offer a glimpse into Gleason’s own voice as he recites a part of Gehrig’s famous “Luckiest Man” retirement speech. This opportunity is largely thanks to Project Euphonia, a Google Research team focused on helping people with atypical speech be better understood. The approach is centered on analyzing speech recordings to better train speech recognition models for those still able to speak and on creating authentic, personalized voices for those no longer able to speak. Gleason, who lost the ability to speak due to effects from ALS, provided previously recorded voice samples to Project Euphonia, and his newly created voice is being shown to the world during this moment. This special video is narrated by Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr. and produced by MLB Network.
MLB Clubs home on Lou Gehrig Day will host special ceremonies and activities at their ballparks. Many Clubs 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, the National Anthem, and more.
On Lou Gehrig Day, each home Club also will display “4-ALS” logos in ballparks, commemorating Gehrig’s uniform number “4.” Additionally, all players, managers and coaches will wear a special “Lou Gehrig Day” patch on uniforms while red “4-ALS” wristbands will be available to be worn in-game. Clubs with an off-day on June 2nd will observe Lou Gehrig Day on June 3rd.
MLB and the Lou Gehrig Day Committee have selected the Healey Center for ALS as the beneficiary for all charitable fundraising efforts centralized out of the Commissioner’s Office. Individual Clubs 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.
- Beginning on June 1, MLB will run a special charitable auction at https://auctions.mlb.com to benefit the Healey Center for ALS. The auction will feature 30 autographed and authenticated Lou Gehrig Day Commemorative Baseballs (one for each MLB Club). As part of this auction, fans can bid on a Priceless® New York Yankees™ experience! This experience - brought to you by Mastercard and sALSa (Spreading ALS Awareness) for a Cure - will benefit the Healey Center for ALS. The experience includes an opportunity for ten people to attend a private meal with a former Yankees player, complete with tickets to the Yankees game that evening. Each guest also will receive an autographed baseball from the former Yankee. sALSa for a Cure is a grassroots campaign created in 2016 by Mastercard employees to raise ALS awareness and funds for effective treatment methods, benefiting the Healey Center for ALS. Priceless® New York Yankees™ experience will be available to fans starting on June 2nd.
- A special sale of Lou Gehrig Day t-shirts will be available for purchase. Major League Baseball will donate its licensed royalties from the sales of Lou Gehrig Day t-shirts to the Expanded Access Protocol Program at the Healey Center for ALS.
- Candy Digital and MLB are releasing their first NFT featuring a 1-of-1 of Lou Gehrig’s famous “Luckiest Man” retirement speech that he delivered on July 4, 1939 giving his farewell to baseball after being diagnosed with ALS. The NFT will commemorate the inaugural Lou Gehrig Day. Proceeds from the NFT, which is scheduled to be released July 4th weekend, will support ALS charities. Fans can sign up to receive the latest information and updates at www.MLB.com/candy.
The Sean M. Healey & AMG Center for ALS combines outstanding, multidisciplinary care with clinical and basic research informed by the needs of patients. The Center is in the midst of dozens of innovative clinical trials that are accelerating the pace of discovery and making a meaningful difference in therapeutic options, even as they deliver compassionate care using age-old solutions, such as house calls, and new tools such as telemedicine and digital monitoring tools. The Healey Center for ALS offers an EAP program, providing access to experimental treatments for people with ALS who are ineligible for clinical trials. The EAPs provide hope to people with ALS who need it most and allows scientists to collect safety and biomarker data that contributes to the Healey Center’s understanding of these experimental agents in the later stages of ALS.
Special Content – MLB Network, MLB.com, MLB Social Media & ALS Organizations
- Beginning today, MLB Network will air the following "Heart of a Hero" feature on Lou Gehrig’s iconic career and legacy narrated by Nancy Frates, the mother of Pete Frates, a former captain of the Boston College baseball team, who passed away from ALS in 2019 at 34-years old. Clips from a new interview with Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr. on the significance of Lou Gehrig Day and the everlasting connection between the Iron Man and Iron Horse will be featured in new vignettes across MLB Network’s programming. Oakland Athletics outfielder Stephen Piscotty, whose mother passed away from ALS, narrated a “Getting To Know Lou Gehrig” feature on this past Saturday’s kids-focused program Play Ball, which you can watch here.
- MLB Social Media channels will spotlight Lou Gehrig’s legacy, on and off the field, through career milestones, stat graphics, storytelling album and notable video content. Social media highlights include:
- Telling the story of Eleanor Gehrig, her commitment to Lou, and her ALS advocacy after his passing.
- Tell stories of several active players who are passionate and vocal in their ALS advocacy.
- Showcase the Healey Center for ALS, Columbia’s Eleanor and Lou Gehrig ALS Center, and the work of the Lou Gehrig Day Committee.
- Fans can follow all official MLB social content through #LouGehrigDay.
- MLB.com will publish 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.
- Several ALS organizations, including ALS Cure Project, I Am ALS and more are embracing Lou Gehrig Day and releasing their own special videos that will be made public leading up to and on Lou Gehrig Day.
“LOU GEHRIG CHALLENGE BY EVERFI”
As a part of the MLB Summer Slugger Program, MLB Clubs can customize a “Lou Gehrig Challenge” that local students can complete as a supplement to the 72-game course. EVERFI is also challenging younger students with some trivia questions to become more familiar with Lou’s life and legacy.
ABOUT LOU GEHRIG DAY
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 2nd 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” (www.lg4day.com), 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.
MLB’S SUPPORT OF ALS COMMUNITY
Baseball has had a long-standing commitment to supporting the movement to end ALS, including commemorations on July 4th – the anniversary of Gehrig’s famous “Luckiest Man Alive” retirement speech – as well as annual in-ballpark recognitions throughout the month of August. Previous efforts have included:
- In 2019, MLB and all 30 MLB Clubs raised funds through the annual Winter Meetings Charity Auction to benefit five ALS organizations – ALS CURE Project, Healey Center for ALS, The ALS Association, Project Main Street, and ALS Therapy Development Institute.
- In 2017, MLB supported the ALS Association’s “Home Health Initiative” through the MLB Fights ALS campaign, which was a league-wide fundraising effort in early August of that year. Beginning with an initial contribution from Major League Baseball, the effort sought to generate additional funds for the Home Health Initiative, which helps provide in-home care to individuals and families affected by ALS.
- In 2014, MLB, its Clubs and its players supported the wave of millions of dollars raised through the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which led to new discoveries that have advanced the search for cures.
- In 2009, MLB formed the initial “4-ALS” charitable campaign to raise funds for four ALS organizations and to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Gehrig’s retirement speech.
- Historically, MLB and Clubs have supported several ALS-focused organizations in raising funds and general awareness of the disease.
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.
ABOUT LOU GEHRIG
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.
Lou Gehrig Day – CLUB EXAMPLES
The Arizona Diamondbacks have hosted an annual ALS Awareness Day for more than 10 years while President & CEO Derrick Hall played a critical role in bringing together the 30 teams for Lou Gehrig Day. The D-backs will host a pregame ceremony including the ceremonial first pitch from Dr. Robert Bowser from Barrow Neurological Institute, one of two doctors recently awarded a Department of Defense grant to study a new therapeutic approach for ALS. The team will recognize six pALS on the field in power wheelchairs, transport chairs or scooters and fans will watch Lou Gehrig’s famous speech on DBTV, as read by ALS patients including the late Yankee legend. Finally, the D-backs will host more than 500 members from ALS Association Arizona, as well as Dutch Bros alongside MDA who raised $1.9 million through their “Drink One for Dane” event.
In honor of Lou Gehrig Day, Atlanta Braves have invited Andra Terry, a Braves gameday employee who has been battling ALS since 2008, and his family to attend the Atlanta Braves game on Wednesday, June 2 vs. the Washington Nationals. Terry is an Atlanta native and is in his 18th season as a gameday employee. He currently works as a fan greeter with his daughter, Andraya. To help raise awareness and funds for ALS research and family resources, the Atlanta Braves will launch a charity auction in-game and online for fans to bid on a limited-edition Lou Gehrig framed print from Art of Words and MLB authenticated autographed memorabilia. The Braves will also offer a specialty ticket package on June 2 where $4 from each ticket purchased will be donated to the ALS Association Georgia Chapter. Tickets can be purchased online at Braves.com/ALS. Additionally, the Braves will donate the 50/50 Raffle proceeds from their June 2 game to the ALS Association Georgia Chapter. To access the charity auction or to make a donation directly to the ALS Association Georgia Chapter, fans can visit www.Braves.com/ALS.
One of the driving forces behind Lou Gehrig Day, Bryan Wayne Galentine will be honored as Wednesday’s Birdland Community Hero. In June of 2019, Galentine and a group of friends began conversations with MLB and Clubs to honor Lou Gehrig in a similar way to how it honors Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente. On October 20, 2020, every MLB team pledged its commitment, and two days later, three years after his initial diagnosis, Galentine passed away from ALS. In recognition of this award, the Orioles Charitable Foundation will donate $5,000 to I Am ALS. You can read more about Galentine’s story here. His Son, Grayson, will throw the ceremonial first pitch. To support Brigance Brigade, the ALS Association, and the Johns Hopkins Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis clinic, the Orioles will be launching an auction from Monday, June 7 at 5:00 p.m. to Sunday, June 13 at 10:00 p.m. The auction will feature team signed 4ALS baseballs and other game used memorabilia.
Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox will recognize Lou Gehrig Day as they host a special ALS Day at Fenway Park on Tuesday, June 8, during which the Club will recognize the Frates family as well as Dr. Merit Cudkowicz, the leader of the Sean M. Healey and AMG Center for ALS, for their incredible efforts in the battle to find a cure for ALS.
In addition to this pregame ceremony, beginning June 2, the Red Sox will launch an ALS fundraiser with the sale of special edition “Strike Out ALS Pete Frates #3” hats. The proceeds from this initiative will be donated to Pete’s Place located at the Chelsea Jewish Lifecare Center’s Leonard Florence Residence. This amazing Center is currently home to 40 patients, featuring cutting edge technology and a high level of specialized care that enables deserving ALS individuals – and others – to live as independently as possible. Increased patient capacity will be named for ALS hero Peter Frates.
The Chicago Cubs’ efforts will focus on driving awareness of ALS while raising funds for patient care with an “All in 4-ALS Super-Heroes” themed day at Wrigley Field.
The club’s activities on June 2 will include:
- Commissioning illustrator and graphic designer Kev Roche to create “Super-Hero” illustrations of Cubs players Jake Arrieta, Javy Báez, Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras and Anthony Rizzo which will be paired with stories of five real-life superheroes battling ALS. The five real-life superheroes were identified by Project Main St., a nonprofit organization that strives to improve the quality of life for people afflicted with ALS. Marquee Sports Network’s television play-by-play announcer Jon “Boog” Sciambi is a founding member of the nonprofit.
- A Cubs Authentics auction sale featuring the limited-edition Kev Roche prints as well as other unique items and experiences, available at www.cubs.com/auctions. All net proceeds from the auction sale will benefit Project Main St.
- An Obvious Shirts giveaway presented by Horizon Therapeutics for fans sitting in the Budweiser Bleachers and the Wrigley Field Rooftops on June 2 only.
- A special Cubs Charities 50/50 Raffle $20,000 guaranteed jackpot presented by Sloan where one lucky winner will take home a minimum of $10,000 and the other half will benefit five different ALS charities including I AM ALS, Project Main St., Team Gleason, The ALS Association Greater Chicago Chapter and the Les Turner ALS Foundation. For more information on the Cubs Charities 50/50 Raffle, visit www.cubs.com/raffle.
- The release of a 2020 Yu Darvish bobblehead presented by Jewel-Osco that was approved with the San Diego Padres and supports Cubs Charities and its partners fighting ALS. The Darvish superhero bobblehead will be offered to fans who purchase a Cubs Charities 50/50 Raffle ticket of $50 or more during the June 2 game and will be redeemable on a first-come, first-served basis at the northwest corner of Gallagher Way starting at 11:20 a.m. CDT June 2 until 30 minutes after the end of the game or until all bobbleheads are distributed. A June 2 game ticket is not required to redeem the offer.
- Various in-game elements including Steve Gleason and his son throwing out the ceremonial first pitch, a recognition ceremony for ALS during the fourth inning and a special seventh-inning stretch conducted by Sciambi.
Chicago White Sox
The Chicago White Sox will honor Lou Gehrig Day on Thursday, June 3 by recognizing local community members and organizations with personal ties to the cause, including a “Play Ball!” video announcement and ceremonial first pitch by two long-time Sox fans who are living with ALS. Throughout the day, the White Sox also will highlight I AM ALS, Les Turner Foundation and ALS Association Greater Chicago Chapter in-game and across social media for their work to find a cure and support individuals and families impacted by ALS.
- On June 2 at Great American Ball Park (Reds vs. Phillies at 12:35 p.m.), the Reds will host Lou Gehrig Day ceremonies and display “4-ALS” logos along with a “4” stencil on the mound.
- The first 15,000 fans in attendance will receive a Lou Gehrig Baseball Card presented by Humana.
- Pregame ceremonies in partnership with the Lou Gehrig Day Committee, ALS Association of Central & Southern Ohio and Phi Delta Theta include the National Anthem, honorary captain, game ball delivery and a ceremonial first pitch featuring Adam Wilson, Lou Gehrig Day Committee Co-Chair from Mason, Ohio.
- Lou Gehrig Memorial Award ceremony with representatives from Phi Delta Theta, Permobil Foundation and LiveLikeLou Foundation.
- Video vignettes of each of the five previous Lou Gehrig Memorial Award winners representing the Reds will be played during inning breaks and featured on Reds.com:
- Joey Votto (2017)
- Danny Graves (2002)
- Barry Larkin (1994)
- Johnny Bench (1975)
- Pete Rose (1969)
- The Reds have created a custom Lou Gehrig Day Challenge for the MLB Summer Slugger Program at summerslugger.com/reds.
The Colorado Rockies are working with Rocky Mountain ALS to bring families to the game and be a part of pregame ceremonies, which will honor a UCHealth patient fighting ALS.
The Cleveland Indians are supporting the local ALS Association-Northern Ohio Chapter and will be hosting them at the ballpark on June 2. They will be receiving the special Lou Gehrig baseballs from that day for fundraising on their own.
The ALS Association Northern Ohio Chapter supports people living with ALS and their loved ones through services and education. They leave no stone unturned in search for the cure of this progressive neurodegenerative disease. Their mission is to discover treatments and a cure for ALS, and to serve, advocate for, and empower people affected by ALS to live their lives to the fullest.
Additionally, Cleveland will be hosting two families who have lost family members to ALS and will be recognizing them during the game with remembrance graphics.
- First pitch will be thrown by Stacy Brown, a person living with ALS
- A pregame ceremony will highlight local board members and staff of the ALS Association (Texas Chapter), who are working to create a world without ALS.
- Tony Dallas and his son, Jack are announcing Play Ball! Tony is a person living with ALS and his son Jack plays baseball at Lamar University (TX).
- The anthem will be performed by Brian Bennett, son of Paulette Bennett who was an LVN for over 30 years, dedicating her life to serving those diagnosed with ALS. Paulette retired from ALS Texas Team last summer and recently passed.
- The Astros’ first pitch and first call participants will receive #4 Astros jerseys in honor of Lou Gehrig.
- The Clubs has also invited additional ALS families to enjoy the game on June 2.
Los Angeles Angels
The Angels are supporting two local ALS organizations – Augie’s Quest and ALS Association – Orange County Chapter, providing them with Lou Gehrig Day tickets and recognizing them during pregame ceremonies. Leading up to Lou Gehrig Day, the Angels and Bally Sports West will share the story of Shaun Kalpakoff, a single-father with a twelve-year old son, who is currently battling ALS. Shaun was diagnosed with ALS in 2017 at age of 36. Since his diagnosis, Shaun has been sharing his story to raise more awareness about ALS. His message, “I have learned to live well with ALS, and I am here to help everyone live their lives to the fullest!” provides positivity through the struggles of living with ALS.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers will celebrate the inaugural Lou Gehrig Day with special pregame ceremonies and have partnered with the non-profit organization Augie’s Quest to Cure ALS to raise money and awareness for ALS research.
The Miami Marlins will recognize Lou Gehrig Day with the following activities:
- The Miami Marlins Foundation is auctioning various Lou Gehrig Day baseballs signed by Marlins players and Manager Don Mattingly, with the proceeds benefitting the University of Miami ALS Center, which provides the highest level of compassionate care and multi-specialty support for patients and families living with ALS from the time of diagnosis to the end stages of the disease.
- The Marlins will host two doctors from UHealth-The University of Miami Health System on Sunday, June 13, and celebrate their work in the space of ALS with a special in-game recognition.
- Over 100 ALS volunteers will run a wide variety of concession stands throughout the ballpark during the game. ALS Wisconsin will receive a portion of the profits from the sale of each concession item .
- Donated game tickets for ALS staff, volunteers and supporters.
- Jimmy Vandenbrook, who lost his brother to ALS, with throw out the ceremonial first pitch
- Jackson Stich, who lost his grandfather to ALS, will be the Flag Waiver.
- Tyler Stich, whose parent is battling ALS, will be the Junior Announcer.
- Lucy Chamberlin, who is a supporter and volunteer for ALS Wisconsin, will sing the National Anthem.
- Pregame hit from the Club’s in-game host with a live shot of one of the concession stands.
- Sharing highlights of Lou Gehrig’s life and career and his impact on baseball.
The Minnesota Twins, in partnership with the ALS Association’s Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota Chapter, will share the courageous stories of two members of the extended Twins family. First, the Twins will debut a documentary-style video spotlighting the Giovanelli family of St. Louis Park, Minnesota. When Lynn Giovanelli was diagnosed with ALS, her community rallied around her – especially those associated with St. Louis Park High School, where the youngest of her three sons, Stefano, is a sophomore pitcher on the baseball team; in front of a season-high crowd of more than 250 people at the school’s first-ever “Strike Out ALS” night on May 19, Lynn threw out the ceremonial first pitch and shared the Orioles’ “Big Dawg” player of the game award with Stefano, who struck out four batters over five innings to earn the win. On the evening of June 2, Twins Hall-of-Famer Kent Hrbek – the 1991 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award winner – will join the Bally Sports North live television broadcast of Minnesota’s road game at Baltimore. Since losing his father to ALS at the age of 53 in 1982 (Kent’s rookie season), “Hrbie” has passionately worked to raise awareness of the disease and advocate for those afflicted, along with their families; Kent and his wife, Jeanie, helped form the Minnesota chapter of the ALS Association and have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the cause. The Giovanelli family story and Kent Hrbek’s in-game discussion with Twins broadcasters will each be shared across the club’s social media platforms, on Bally Sports North, and in-ballpark at Target Field when the Twins return home to host the New York Yankees on June 8.
New York Yankees
The New York Yankees will recognize special individuals who are both part of the fight against ALS and those part of the committee to make Lou Gehrig Day a reality:
- Dr. Rodney Howell and John Howell – Dr. Howell is the son-in-law and John the grandson of Lou Gehrig’s personal physician, Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Sr.
- Pat Quinn’s family – Pat was one of the founders of the Ice Bucket Challenge.
- Pete Frates’ family – Pete was the other founder of the Ice Bucket Challenge.
- Kevin Heller’s Family – Kevin passed away in January from ALS. Prior to his passing, he was an active member of the Lou Gehrig Day Committee advocating and pushing for Lou Gehrig Day throughout all of MLB. In February, he was posthumously presented with the ALS Association’s National Hero Award.
Additionally, the Yankees will help raise funds for ALS research through a “Text To Donate” to the ALS Association Greater New York Chapter. The team will run a special video with members of the Yankees reading Lou Gehrig’s “Luckiest Man” speech, while a virtual pregame ceremony will feature individuals living with ALS – Jerry Tolve (virtual National Anthem) and former New York Yankees Batboy Neil Herbst (virtual First Pitch).
The Oakland A’s efforts will focus on driving awareness of ALS while raising funds for research that will lead to a cure.
The A’s are teaming up with the ALS CURE Project — a nonprofit organization founded by the Piscotty family after Gretchen Piscotty, mother of A’s outfielder Stephen Piscotty, passed away from ALS in 2018 — on the #ALSChatter campaign. #ALSChatter was created to encourage fans to start a different type of chatter: not just talking about baseball, talking about a cure. The A’s will join the #ALSChatter conversation on their social channels, during game broadcasts, and with an #ALSChatter billboard in Oakland the week of May 31. Mike Piscotty will join the A's Radio pregame show on June 2 to talk about the inaugural Lou Gehrig Day, ALS CURE Project's work, and #ALSChatter.
On June 7, several A’s players, including Chris Bassitt, Seth Brown, Jake Diekman, Mike Fiers, Cole Irvin, Jesús Luzardo, Sean Manaea, Matt Olson, Chad Pinder, and Trevor Rosenthal, will join Stephen Piscotty for the inaugural ALS CURE Project Golf Tournament. Visit alscure.net for more information and to register.
The A’s will celebrate Lou Gehrig Day at the Coliseum with their annual ALS Awareness Day on Tuesday, June 8. The A’s will host individuals from the ALS CURE Project, the ALS Therapy Development Institute, and the ALS Association Golden West Chapter at the ballpark for the 6:40 p.m. game versus the Diamondbacks. A’s players, coaches, and on-field personnel will wear 4ALS wristbands and jersey patches during the game, and the team will share pregame and in-game videos about ALS. Ten dollars from each Field Level ticket sold for the June 8 game will be donated to the ALS CURE Project, and the A’s Community Corner will feature a flash sale of Stephen Piscotty autographed photos.
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.
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.
The Pirates will recognize Lou Gehrig Day on Thursday, June 3, as an opportunity to raise awareness around ALS. In addition to the on-field happenings, the Pirates will host a special pregame ceremony to surprise a local ALS patient with a customized black & gold wheelchair. The presentation will take place in partnership with the LiveLikeLou Foundation, the ALS Foundation of Western PA, Permobil and the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity.
San Diego Padres
The San Diego Padres will celebrate Lou Gehrig Day on June 3rd. Additional activities include:
- Steve Fisher, former San Diego State Aztecs Men’s Basketball Coach and San Diego Brietbard Hall of Famer, will throw out the Ceremonial First Pitch that night. Steve’s son, Mark, was diagnosed with ALS in 2009.
- Sarah Trott, a local San Diegan and contestant on the most recent season of ABC’s The Bachelor, will also serve as the Ceremonial Bell Ringer prior to the game as part of the pregame ceremonies. Sarah’s father is a local ALS patient and she has used her platform on the show to highlight the difficulties faced by families, caregivers and ALS patients themselves. Trott has also worked with the San Diego chapter of the ALS Association to raise awareness of the disease.
- ALS Association San Diego will also be the community kiosk partner that night and have resources and material available on the main concourse.
San Francisco Giants
The San Francisco Giants will celebrate Lou Gehrig Day on June 3rd. Additional activities to commemorate Gehrig’s legacy and honor the fight of those living with ALS include:
- People with ALS and their families, researchers and advocates will join the Giants for the game on June 3rd against the Cubs
- Recognition of Buster Posey for being selected as the 2019 Phi Delta Theta Lou Gehrig Award recipient
- Celebrating the life of Kevin Heller, close to the Giants family, and recognizing that he was awarded The ALS Association’s 2021 ALS Hero Award posthumously
- Chris Mavraedis, person living with ALS, will throw out the first pitch
- Intimate virtual meet & greet for people with ALS to hear from Giants Broadcaster Mike Krukow and Cubs Broadcaster Jon “Boog” Sciambi
- Raising awareness for our non-profit partners who are in the fight against ALS in the Bay Area and beyond. These partners include the ALS Association Golden West Chapter, the ALS Therapy Development Institute and the ALS CURE Project.
- Honoring the fight of those living with ALS and recognizing the families and community members that provide support
- Sharing highlights of Lou Gehrig’s life and career and his impact on baseball
Planned activities for the Mariners’ Lou Gehrig Day celebration include:
- Pregame Presentation –
- ALS Advocacy: Marilyn and Carl Moore, Caregiver and Person living with ALS
- ALS Care (Clinician): Dr. Ileana Howard, Co-Director VA Puget Sound ALS Treatment Center
- ALS Research: Paul Valdmanis, PhD, Valdmanis Lab at UW
- ALS Association Evergreen Chapter: Pauline Proulx, Executive Director
- ALS CURE Project: Mike Piscotty, President
- Father of Stephen Piscotty, Oakland A’s
- Lou Gehrig Day Committee: Phil Green, Co-Founder
- MDA Rep: TBD
- First Pitch:
- Valerie O’Mara – Living w/ ALS and an Evergreen Chapter Board Member
- Hometown Hero:
- Piper Paul – Registered Nurse and Clinical Program Manager at Virginia Mason’s Neurology Institute and Certified ALS Center
- T-Mobile Community Spotlight – $10k donation to be made to the ALS Evergreen Chapter
- Graphics with facts about ALS
- Pitcher Justin Dunn video – Dunn became close with Pete Frates while pitching for Boston College.
- #whereiROOT & #LG4Day – local ALS organizations encouraging members of their communities to tweet a photo of themselves in Mariners gear so patients/families not able to attend the game can be included in the broadcast
St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals will celebrate Lou Gehrig Day at Busch Stadium on June 3rd. For all charitable purposes, the Cardinals are working with the ALS Association, St. Louis Regional Chapter. Cardinals have donated a suite for 6/3 game, ALSA is hosting two families battling ALS to suite, who will be involved in pregame on-field ceremonies.
The Texas Rangers are hosting five families associated with the ALS Society of Texas at the game at Globe Life Field on June 4th. The net proceeds of Friday’s Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation 50/50 Raffle will benefit the ALS Society of Texas. At the conclusion of the third inning, the Rangers will recognize the five families and ask all fans to stand and hold up the number 4 in honor of Lou Gehrig.
Toronto Blue Jays
Teaming up with ALS Society of Canada, the Blue Jays will expand its fan cutout section at Sahlen Field to feature Canadians living with ALS and their families. The Blue Jays will further assist the organization with fundraising efforts by donating a variety of game used bases and memorabilia from Lou Gehrig Day. The ALS Society of Canada works with the ALS community to improve the lives of people affected by ALS through support, advocacy, and investment in research for a future without ALS. To further awareness, the Blue Jays will cover the day on its social channels and amplify content from MLB and ALS Society of Canada, and the team’s broadcaster, Sportsnet, will also support during the telecast.