Results tagged ‘ amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ’

ALS Association congratulates A-Rod

Dorine Gordon, president and chief executive officer of the ALS Association Greater New York Chapter congratulated Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez for tying the 74-year-old record of 23 grand slam home runs by a major league player that was established by Lou Gehrig, who died of the disease in 1941.

“Rising to this record that has gone unmatched for nearly three-quarters of a century is an amazing feat,” Gordon said. “And for a fellow New York Yankee to now share this piece of history with the legend that is Lou Gehrig is extra special. We are proud to carry on the fight against the disease that bears Gehrig’s name and commend Alex on this outstanding accomplishment.”

Rodriguez tied the Gehrig mark in the eighth inning Tuesday night in the Yankees’ 6-4 victory over the Braves at Turner Field in Atlanta off lefthander Jonny Venters. It was A-Rod’s 13th grand slam with the Yankees, which also tied Joe DiMaggio for the second-most in franchise history. Those are the most slams in the majors since 2004 when Rodriguez joined the Yankees.

As one of The ALS Association’s leading chapters, the Greater New York Chapter services New York City, Long Island, Westchester County, the Hudson Valley, and Northern & Central New Jersey an plays a major role in promoting the mission to lead the fight to cure and treat ALS. The ALS Association is the only national not-for-profit voluntary health organization dedicated solely to the fight against ALS. The ALS Association is a member of the National Health Council.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord causing muscle weakness and atrophy, resulting in paralysis. Due to the degenerative nature of ALS, there can be significant costs for medical care, equipment, and home health care giving later in the disease.

Approximately 5,600 people in the United States are diagnosed with ALS each year. It is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans may have the disease at any given time. ALS can strike anyone as it occurs throughout the world with no racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic boundaries. Additionally, military veterans are twice more likely to develop ALS than civilians, regardless of branch of service or combat duty status. There is no known cause, no effective treatment and no cure.

April 30: Lou’s career beginning to end

The date April 30 was a memorable one for the Yankees and Lou Gehrig at both the start and finish of his Hall of Fame career.

It was on this date in 1923 that Gehrig, 19, a native New Yorker and a pitcher-first baseman at Columbia University, signed a professional contract with the Yankees. At that time, Gehrig was the second greatest player in Columbia’s baseball history. Already a star in the major leagues at that time was White Sox second baseman Eddie Collins, then in his 18th season.

On this same date in 1939, Gehrig played in the last of his 2,130 consecutive games. He went hitless in four at-bats in a 3-2 loss to the Washington Senators at the original Yankee Stadium. The next day was an open date for the Yankees, who traveled to Detroit. Before the May 2 game against the Tigers, Gehrig asked manager Joe McCarthy to remove him from the lineup.

It was later learned that Gehrig was suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The man known as “The Iron Horse” never played another game in the major leagues. The difficult to pronounce disease would soon bear his name as it does today and remains incurable.

At the 1939 Winter Meetings in Cincinnati, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America held a vote to elect Gehrig into the Hall of Fame. The proposal was passed unanimously, but Gehrig was never officially inducted.

Although he is usually listed in the class of 1939, the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies were during that summer when Gehrig was still on the Yankees’ roster. One of those 1939 inductees was Eddie Collins, along with Willie Keeler and George Sisler.

There were no Hall of Fame elections until 1942 when Rogers Hornsby was voted in by the BBWAA. By the time of that induction, however, Gehrig had already died of ALS June 2, 1941 at the age of 37.

The Major League Baseball schedule is made up annually without regard to such coincidences, but this May 2, which is Monday, the Yankees will once again find themselves in Detroit where one of the greatest careers in their franchise’s storied history came to an end.

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