Tuesday, May 02, 2017

1939: Lou Gehrig stepped down after 2,130 games or 13 years!

Lou Gehrig took himself out of the Yankees' lineup on this day in 1939:

"Gehrig joined the Yankees in 1923, but he didn’t see any action until 1925, when he backed up star first baseman Wally Pipp. 

According to legend, Gehrig stepped in at first base when Pipp benched himself with a headache, and Pipp never made it back on to the field. 

Gehrig didn’t miss a game for the next 13 years. 

To this day, to be "Wally Pipped" is to be replaced for good.
Gehrig’s offensive output was as extraordinary as his consecutive games streak. The left-handed slugger led the American League in RBIs five times, driving in at least 100 runs 13 years in a row. 
He led the AL in home runs three times, led in runs four times and led the league in hitting once. In the Yankees first golden era, Gehrig batted cleanup, right after Babe Ruth, the bigger star of the two. 
It was Gehrig, however, who was named American League MVP in 1927, on a Yankee team considered the greatest team in history; he won the award again in 1936, another championship year for the Yankees. 
In all, Gehrig won six World Series titles with the Yankees.
Gehrig began to experience symptoms of ALS during the 1938 season, but doctors initially struggled to diagnose him. He played the first eight games of 1939, removing himself mid-game after being congratulated for a routine play at first base. 
He sat the next day, ending his streak at 2,130 games played. 
He never played again."
The streak lasted until Carl Ripken broke it in 1995.  Nevertheless, it is one of the greatest accomplishments in professional sports.




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