Major League Baseball is observing its inaugural Lou Gehrig Day commemorating the Hall of Famer whose legacy has inspired the ongoing movement to defeat ALS. A special collection of activities are planned across ballparks along with a series of fundraising efforts.
MLB Network produced a tribute video to the former New York Yankees legend. Narrated by Nancy Frates, who lost her own son — Pete of Ice Bucket Challenge notoriety — to the disease in 2019, it speaks to the New York Yankees' impact both on the field and off it.
It's been 82 years since Gehrig's speech to the world and it's only grown more powerful. The bravery and steely reserve he was able to display while facing a challenge he knew was insurmountable is tough to imagine. That he would chose to look at all the gifts in his life and consider himself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth never ceases to be incredible.
Frates doing the same thing decades later, channeling his energy into something positive and fighting like hell to foul off pitches when life had him in a two-strike count, is inspiring and a continuation of Gehrig's courage.
It's worth considering just how difficult it must have been for both men to do this, given the human tendency to closely monitor their every statement and public appearance. When one really stops and thinks about the Herculean challenge, it's overwhelming. And perhaps it should be. Perhaps that's the only way to properly appreciate them both.