Wanted to share Richard Sandomir’s terrific story for Sports on Earth on the most famous speech in sports: Lou Gehrig’s 4th of July address at Yankee Stadium in 1939.
Faced with a cruel fate, baseball’s “Iron Man” gave thanks in a speech that still resonates 75 years later, and will forever.
When Lou Gehrig delivered his “luckiest man” speech on July 4, 1939, his oratorical skills were unknown. He could transform the mood of a stadium with his bat, but what could he do with words to convey the end of his career, if not his life? He lacked the magnetism of the man-child Babe Ruth, whose Brobdingnagian personality captivated the press and fans. Gehrig was an introverted mama’s boy, so lacking in charisma that writer Niven Busch had declared, in a 1929 New Yorker profile, that Gehrig … Continue Reading