Friday, June 19, 2009

The MMOB Daily Quote - Lou Gehrig

Henry Louis "Lou" Gehrig (June 19, 1903 – June 2, 1941)

In addition to being the second "Lou" in as many days, today's subject of
The MMOB Daily Quote is now a cherished American baseball icon who was known as The Iron Horse for his durability and dependability on the field. His exploits are legendary, and as a member of The Bronx Bombers (that's the New York Yankees for you non-baseball fans out there) he played alongside Babe Ruth, was voted the American League MVP twice and helped win the World Series Championship six times.

As great a player as he was, it was his tragic exit from the game that cemented him in the hearts and minds of the world. After showing signs for half a season, Gehrig was diagnosed with
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) on June 19, 1939, his 36th birthday. ALS was later dubbed Lou Gehrig's Disease in his honor. His famous retirement speech two days later is the stuff of legend. Here is the text of that speech, which was recreated so pointedly by Gary Cooper in the the film The Pride of the Yankees.

"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 the earth. I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.

"Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn’t consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day? Sure, I’m lucky. Who wouldn’t consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball’s greatest 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 that 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 might have been given a bad break, but I've got an awful lot to live for. Thank you."

Here's the speech as done by Mr. Cooper.

And now, some quotes from Lou Gehrig to get our Friday morning off to a great start.

"We were mighty short on infielders in those days."

"Lets face it. I'm not a headline guy. I always knew that as long as I was following Babe to the plate I could have gone up there and stood on my head. No one would have noticed the difference. When the Babe was through swinging, whether he hit one or fanned, nobody paid any attention to the next hitter. They all were talking about what the Babe had done."

"I might have had a tough break, but I have an awful lot to live for."

"In the beginning I used to make one terrible play a game. Then I got so I'd make one a week and finally I'd pull a bad one about once a month. Now, I'm trying to keep it down to one a season."

"The ballplayer who loses his head, who can't keep his cool, is worse than no ballplayer at all."

"There is no room in baseball for discrimination. It is our national pastime and a game for all."

"What are you going to do? Admit to yourself that the pitchers have you on the point of surrender? You can't do that. You must make yourself think that the pitchers are just as good as they always have been or just as bad."

Cheers! - Jason

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