June 12, 2021

The Baseball 100: No. 14, Lou Gehrig (The Athletic)

Starting in December, Joe Posnanski began counting down the 100 greatest baseball players. Initially, we published one a day to count down to Opening Day — but with the start of the season pushed back, we’ll be counting down the last 13 with three essays per week. In all, this project will contain roughly as many words as “Moby Dick.” Yes, we know it’s nutty. We hope you enjoy.

Many people believe Lou Gehrig’s story — and his life — ended on that Independence Day in 1939 when he gave the most famous speech in the history of baseball, the history of sports, and one of the most famous speeches in the history of America.

At first, it seemed, he would not speak at all that day. The Yankees had declared it Lou Gehrig Day, and more than 61,000 people came to the ballpark. Gehrig was so utterly overcome with emotion that Babe Ruth, his friend and rival, came over to him and whispered in his ear: “C’mon, kid. C’mon, kid,…

Read “The Baseball 100: No. 14, Lou Gehrig” at The Athletic