Lou Gehrig's speech, recited by the first baseman of every team (video)

July 4 is the 75th anniversary of the day in 1939 when Lou Gehrig, just 36 years old, made his final public appearance — a retirement speech on the field at Yankee Stadium with his teammates standing around him trying not to cry. "Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got," the New York first baseman began. "Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth..."

Gehrig, of course, was forced to leave the game in his prime by Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, the disease that ever since has been shorthanded to his name. He died less than two years later. As a fundraiser for ALS, MLB.com produced this video of all 30 major league starting first basemen — plus Yankees captain Derek Jeter — reciting Gehrig's words.

The video was played this afternoon on the scoreboard at Yankee Stadium.

gehrig-screen-shot.jpg


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