Teams nationwide encouraged to observe a moment of silence.
INDIANAPOLIS (May 7, 2021) – Approximately 5,000 new cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) — also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease — are diagnosed in the United States each year. The American Legion will honor New York Yankees great Lou Gehrig through its American Legion Baseball program, in conjunction with Major League Baseball’s creation of an annual tradition of observing Lou Gehrig Day on June 2.
Gehrig was a star first baseman and part of the team’s famed “Murderers’ Row” line-up that also featured Babe Ruth. His long and successful career was still cut short by the disease, which eventually took his life on June 2, 1941, at age 37. MLB’s annual observation of Lou Gehrig Day on June 2 is aimed at raising awareness of ALS and those afflicted with the debilitating disease that affects the nervous system.
American Legion Resolution No. 6, adopted by the American Legion’s National Executive Committee on May 5, 2021, strongly encourages “every American Legion Baseball team to observe a moment of silence before their game(s) each year on June 2 in memory of Major League Baseball’s great Lou Gehrig and all veterans who suffer or have died from ALS.” In 2008, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) established ALS as a presumptive military service-connected disease. This allows veterans with ALS to be eligible for service-connected benefits. For reasons as yet unknown, veterans are twice as likely to be diagnosed with ALS than the general population.