This Day In Sports History (August 17th) – Lou Gehrig
It was on this day in 1933 that Lou Gehrig played in his 1,308th consecutive game. Gehrig surpassed the mark set by shortstop Everett Scott, who established the record in 1925.
There were a few instances during the streak where Gehrig came awfully close to missing a game. In 1933, Lou was struck in the head by a pitch, which nearly knocked him unconscious. Although shaken up, he would remain in the game and not miss any time. A couple of months later, Gehrigh was ejected from a game, but since he already had an at-bat earlier in the game, he got credit for playing and the streak was allowed to continue.
By 1939, Gehrig’s abilities and statistics had gone downhill dramatically compared to seasons before. On May 2nd 1939, during the worst slump of his career, Lou Gehrig pulled himself from the starting line-up as he felt he was hurting his teams chances of winning. Shortly after, he was diagnosed with ALS, which forced him into retirement.
Here’s a look at Gehrig’s famous speech, where he states, “Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth”
Christian Laettner, NBA – Born August 17th 1969 (age 43) in Angola, New York
Jorge Posada, MLB – Born August 17th 1971 (age 41) in Santurce, Puerto Rico
Dustin Pedroia, MLB – Born August 17th 1983 (age 29) in Woodland, California