Lou Gehrig’s Farewell Speech, July 4, 1939
Lou Gehrig was one of the greatest ballplayers who ever lived. He played a record 2,130 consecutive games (a record unbroken until Cal Ripken, Jr. in 1995), batted over .300 for twelve consecutive seasons, and from all accounts was a stand-up human being.
In 1938, his strength began to falter, and in the spring of 1939, he had managed only 4 hits in the first eight games of the season. He was soon diagnosed with ALS and was given about three years to live. He would never play ball again.
The Yankees declared July 4, 1939 to be Lou Gehrig’s Day, and Gehrig gave his famous farewell speech. A transcript of the full speech is available here.