Major League Baseball today announced the various activities that have been coordinated by MLB, its Clubs and the Lou Gehrig Day Committee to celebrate the second annual “Lou Gehrig Day” on Thursday, June 2nd. These efforts include special moments at Major League ballparks and reflections of stories about individuals who have been affected by Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), otherwise known as “Lou Gehrig’s disease.”
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, and more. Club Activation Examples can be found here.
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.
Red “4-ALS” wristbands will be available to be worn in-game.
Clubs with an off-day or that are on the road on June 2nd can observe Lou Gehrig Day on a separate date.
MLB and the Lou Gehrig Day Committee have 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 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 2, MLB will run a special charitable auction at https://auctions.mlb.com 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). As part of this auction, fans can bid on a Priceless® New York Yankees™ experience! This experience, presented by Mastercard, will benefit the Healey & AMG Center for ALS and includes an opportunity for ten people to attend a private meal with a former New York Yankees player on August 19th, complete with tickets to the New York Yankees game that evening. The Healey & AMG Center is also supported by sALSa (Spreading ALS Awareness) for a Cure, a grassroots campaign created in 2016 by Mastercard employees to raise ALS awareness and funds for effective treatment methods. The Priceless® New York Yankees™ experience will be available to fans starting on June 2nd.
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 & AMG Center for ALS offers an expanded access program (EAP), 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 & AMG Center’s understanding of these experimental agents in the later stages of ALS.
Special Content – MLB Network, MLB.com, MLB Social Media & ALS Organizations
- MLB Network will celebrate Lou Gehrig Day throughout its studio programming and MLB Network Showcase telecast featuring the Los Angeles Angels at New York Yankees at 7:00 p.m. ET live from Yankee Stadium.
- 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.
- 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.
“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.