Lou Gehrig’s speech at Yankee Stadium is one of the most famous speeches of all time. Not just speeches in the realm of sports, but in life in general. On Independence Day in 1939, Lou Gehrig has a speech about his retirement. Along with that Gehrig talked about the reality that he had a non-named disease. A disease that would eventually be named after him. Instead of talking through the issues that he was going through, the only thing Gehrig would talk about was how lucky he was. “Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth.” To live his dream and be surrounded by the support of the fans, organizations, and his loving family. That is all he wanted to mention despite the deadly disease.
The Reception Back Then
Gehrig’s level of selflessness and humility were tremendous and his speech was responded with thousands and thousands of cheering fans. Fans who were grateful for his career and his own qualities as a human being. Qualities not always associated with athletes due to people assuming that all athletes carry high egos and self-importance. With Gehrig; however, that was not the case in the slightest. The speech was so well received at the time, other organizations, not just the Yankees would reach out to Gehrig and offer every condolence they could.
The Reception Today
Lou Gehrig’s speech was well-received back in 1939, in 2020 it is still loved by many. It is considered generally around a top 3 sports speech of all-time, if not all-time. With huge companies like Bleacher Report who made a list ranking the top sports speeches with Gehrig’s ranking third. When I first read the transcript of the speech, it touched me. Such an emotional and inspiring speech despite the face him retiring due to this awful disease. It is well remembered by all sports fans, not just Yankee ones, not just baseball fans, but by fans in general.