The main reason for Lou Gehrig’s “Farewell to Baseball” address was to announce his retirement from the New York Yankees due to his terminal illness. On June 19, 1939 Gehrig was diagnosed with ALS at the age of 35 and told that the illness was moving rapidly throughout his body. Less than a month later, on July 4, 1939, Gehrig gave his infamous speech, describing how all the positives in his life make up for this one extremely unfavorable circumstance.
Through his words, Gehrig was able to inspire more than just his fans, by reminding the crowd that it’s the little things that add up that make a life worth living: like being apart of team that is constantly supporting one another, having a mother and father who gave up everything to give him everything, and having that one important person that gave him the courage to take on all the challenges that came his way. Even though Lou Gehrig passed on June 2, 1941, at the age of 37, he continues to be a major influence to those who also suffer from this disease and inspire many people who don’t.