News & Stories

Celebrating the 4th Annual Lou Gehrig Day and the ALS community

2024 Lou Gehrig Day V2

The ALS Network is proud to celebrate the 4th Annual Lou Gehrig Day and our ongoing partnership with Major League Baseball, to honor the legacy of Lou Gehrig and all those lost to the disease that bears his name. 

Lou Gehrig Day is annually commemorated league-wide on June 2, which is the day Gehrig joined the Yankees as their starting first baseman, marking the first of his 2,130 consecutive games played. This day also marks his death from ALS, the devastating neurodegenerative disease that became known globally as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”

In honor of Gehrig’s uniform number “4,” each home team displays“4-ALS” logos at the ballparks during their games. Additionally, all players, managers, and coaches wear a special patch on their uniforms, with other ceremonial elements varying across the teams. 

The ALS Network is proud to be a part of these annual special days, in collaboration with the ALS community and other ALS organizations. This year, we celebrated with the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, and the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday, June 4.

The Los Angeles Dodgers honored the legacy of Lou Gehrig with ceremonial activities before the game at Dodger Stadium, joined by the ALS Network, I AM ALS, Augie’s Quest, and other ALS organizations. The Dodgers  kicked off the game day activities  with a special homeplate presentation which featured Michelle Ito, who has been living with ALS since 2023, and her daughter Chelsea. Also on the field before the Dodgers battled the Colorado Rockies was Charles Pensalleve, a veteran who was diagnosed with ALS in 2017, his wife, Rose, and their granddaughter.

ALS Network staff hosted an informational table near the right field team store where attendees of the game could learn more about ALS as well as find out about our organization and l the many ways to get involved. People with ALS, their families, friends and loved ones  gathered together throughout Dodger stadium along with ALS Network staff to commemorate the day and build connection as an ALS community.

See the photos from the game and watch the pregame ceremony below. 

The San Francisco Giants hosted their Lou Gehrig Day with a special game against Gehrig’s team, the New York Yankees. In addition to the ALS Network, many ALS organizations participated, including ALS TDI, Muscular Dystrophy Association, I AM ALS, Live Like Lou Foundation, Phi Delta Theta Foundation, and the Lou Gehrig Day committee. 

The Giants hosted many special activities for people living with ALS, their loved ones, families, and others in our ALS community. Prior to the start of the game, the team held a home plate ceremony which included honoring Lou Gehrig Award finalist, Mike Yastrzemski. Mike was also joined on the field by representatives from Phi Delta Theta Fraternity and Live Like Lou Foundation to present the Iron Horse Scholarship to Elizabeth Duncan, an incoming freshman who is pursuing a degree in nursing in the fall who has lost many family members, including her father, to ALS.

The team also held a moment of silence before the National anthem to recognize those who have lost to ALS this past year. Among those honored were Chuck Walters, Jay Connolly, Larry Higgings, Marsha Maytum, and Steven Schulz. During the game, the Giants featured Karen Sutton, ALS Network board member and person living with ALS, and her brother Rob, along with representatives from ALS TDI, MDA, and the Lou Gehrig Day Committee during their community spotlight. 

See photos from the game here, as well as the videos of the ceremonial celebrations of Lou Gehrig Day with the Giants below.

Since the team was away from home on June 2, the Oakland Athletics celebrated Lou Gehrig Day on Tuesday, June 4 in their game against the Seattle Mariners. The ALS Network and ALS TDI attended the game in support of the ALS community, and both organizations were named A’s Nonprofit Partners of the Game. 

Representing the ALS Network during the homeplate presentation was Jeff Robbins, who has been living with ALS since 2023, and his two sons, Theo and Jude. The Robbins family threw the game’s first pitch and were also joined on the field with representatives from ALS TDI, Osiel Mendoza, who is living with ALS and his close friend, Alyssa.

You can view photos from the game here, as well as video from the game’s first pitch below.

The ALS Network is deeply grateful to all who took part in this year’s Lou Gehrig Day events, helping to raise ALS awareness and support for our mission, with special appreciation to our board members and advisory trustees in attendance. We thank the members of the Lou Gehrig Day committee, all the Major League Baseball teams, players and their family members for their ongoing efforts to support the ALS community in search for prevention strategies, effective treatments and cures for  ALS.

Share This Article: