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Gehrig, Lou(Louis Gehrig) (gâr`ĭg), 1903–41, American baseball player, b. New York City. He studied and played baseball at Columbia, where he was spotted by a scout for the New York Yankees. As the team's first baseman (1925–39), Gehrig played in 2,130 consecutive league games (setting a record that stood until 1995, when it was broken by Cal RipkenRipken, Cal, Jr.
(Calvin Edward Ripken, Jr.), 1960–, American baseball player, b. Havre de Grace, Md. The son of a long-time coach and manager in the Baltimore Orioles organization, he joined the team in 1981 as a third baseman.
..... Click the link for more information. , Jr.), batted .361 in seven World Series, and broke many other major-league records. The "Iron Horse," as he was known to admirers, had a lifetime batting average of .340, and his 493 home runs rank him among the game's best. He four times won the Most Valuable Player award. Stricken by amyotrophic lateral sclerosisamyotrophic lateral sclerosis
(ALS) or motor neuron disease,
sometimes called Lou Gehrig's disease, degenerative disease that affects motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord, preventing them from sending impulses to the muscles.
..... Click the link for more information. , a rare type of paralysis since commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease, Gehrig retired from baseball in 1939 and served (1940–41) as a parole commissioner in New York City. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939.
See K. Brandt, Lou Gehrig: Pride of the Yankees (1985); J. Eig, Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig (2005).
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Gehrig, (Henry Louis) Lou (b. Ludwig Heinrich Gehrig)(1903–41) baseball player; born in New York City. Baseball's "iron horse," the left-handed first baseman played in a major league record 2,130 consecutive games during his 17-year career with the Babe Ruth-led New York Yankees (1923–39). Twice named the American League Most Valuable Player (1927, 1936), he posted a .340 lifetime batting average and slammed 493 career homeruns (including 23 grand slams, a major league record). His career and incredible games-played streak came to an end when he was afflicted with the incurable disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (now also known as "Lou Gehrig's Disease"). His emotional farewell to baseball in 1939, in which he proclaimed himself "the luckiest man on the face of this earth" was powerfully portrayed in the 1942 film, Pride of the Yankees, starring Gary Cooper. In 1939, Gehrig was elected to baseball's Hall of Fame.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.