Lou Gehrig (1917- 1941) made these brief remarks, with Babe Ruth standing nearby, July 4, 1939 in Yankee Stadium. Gehrig died of ALS, June 2, 1941 at age 37, twenty three months later. Although ALS has been known to exist as a distinct disease for 194 years, it still is a disease with No Known Cause or Cure.
“Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got.
Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth.
I have been in ballparks for 17 years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans." “When you look around, wouldn’t you consider it a privilege to associate yourself with such fine looking men as are standing in uniform in this ballpark today? Sure I am lucky. Who would not consider it an honor to have known Jacob Rupert? Also the builder of the greatest baseball empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy? Sure, I’m lucky."
“When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift — that’s something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies — that’s something. When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter — that’s something.
When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so you can have an education and build your body-it’s a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed — that’s the finest I know. So I close in saying that I may have had a tough break, but I have an awful lot to live for. Thank you."
There is no known intact film of Gehrig’s speech; only a small snippet of the newsreel has survived. There is a photo of Babe Ruth hugging Gehrig as the band played; “I Love you Truly”. “Wikipedia”