Lou Gehrig Farewell Speech Transcript
Transcript of Lou Gehrig’s 1939 farewell speech.
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Speaker 1: (00:06)
On May 2nd, 1939 after playing in 2,130 straight games, the iron horse, Lou Gehrig, benches himself. Lou’s statistics through April are the worst of his career. He has just one RBI and a .143 batting average. Two weeks after his benching, Gehrig is diagnosed with a fatal disease, ALS, and is given three years to live. Upon hearing the news, the Yankees scheduled Lou Gehrig appreciation day for July 4th. Sports better Shirley Povich recalls the scene.
Shirley Povich: (00:39)
The day was advertised as a tribute to Lou. It was such an outpouring of fans that every seat at Yankee Stadium was filled. An official after official and player after player of the Yankees came along and spoken with the microphone and spoken with the great affection for Lou and what he meant to them and Lou was standing by, actually stooped as he was. I saw that day, if you would talk about sadness at any gathering, that’s the day I saw photographers cry.
Lou Gehrig: (01:30)
Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. And I might’ve been given a bad break, but I’ve got an awful lot to live for. Thank you.
Speaker 1: (01:52)
Two years after his speech, at age 37, Gehrig succumbs to his illness. His time was cut short, but his legacy will live forever.