#Shortstops: Lou Gehrig’s gift
While Lou was still adding to his record of most consecutive games played in the late 1930s, Eleanor began to notice things were a bit off with Lou at home. His health began to deteriorate, and by May 2, 1939, his streak of consecutive games played ended at 2,130 when he removed himself from the Yankees’ lineup.
He wrote to Eleanor, “I broke before the game because I thought so much of you. Not because I didn’t know you are the bravest kind of partner but because my inferiority grabbed me and made me wonder and ponder if I could possible prove myself worthy of you.”
Not long after, Gehrig was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, but the only one who really knew how fatal the disease was Eleanor. During his final years, Eleanor worked to keep things on the lighter side, writing: “I want him to keep a thread of hope; there is no point in adding mental torture to the horrible experience he is now going through.”
After Lou passed away on June 2, 1941, Eleanor did her best to keep the memory of her loving husband alive. She attended tributes and even consulted on the movie, "The Pride of the Yankees".
It is no wonder why he considered himself “the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”
Lily Brandt is the 2018 collections intern in the Hall of Fame’s Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Youth Leadership Development