Date: 7/4/1939
On June 19, 1939, the day he turned 36 years old, Lou Gehrig got the grim news that he was suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS, a fatal disease with no cure and a life expectancy of three years. As a result of the unexpected illness, Gehrig was forced into an early retirement from the game he loved so much. On July 4, 1939, the Yankees gave The Iron Horse the proper sendoff after his many successful years in pinstripes. The team retired his No. 4 jersey, Babe Ruth and then-manager Joe McCarthy spoke highly of the Yankee great, but there was no greater moment than when Gehrig took the mic and embodied the role of an exceptional team player by thanking everyone while discussing little about himself and his personal accolades. Try not to get choked up listening to that speech.