The New York Yankees today announced that they have pledged $100,000 to the ALS Association (www.alsa.org). The donation is made in recognition of those who bravely live with ALS, those who have passed away from the condition and those around the world who have taken part in the Ice Bucket Challenge in an effort to raise awareness and funding to find a cure.
In support of the Yankees' donation, Manager Joe Girardi participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge this afternoon. Video can be found at www.yankees.com, on the Yankees' official Twitter account (@yankees) and on the Yankees' official Facebook page (facebook.com/yankees).
"The Yankees organization has been inspired by the public's embrace of the Ice Bucket Challenge as a creative way to support ALS charities," said Yankees Chief Operating Officer Lonn Trost. "We make this donation in the memory of everyone who has been touched by ALS and those who have tried to make a difference in finding a cure."
The Yankees have had a long-standing relationship with the ALS Association Greater New York Chapter (www.als-ny.org), providing financial contributions and other resources to the organization.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is most closely associated with former Yankees first baseman and captain Lou Gehrig, who passed away from its effects on June 2, 1941, at the age of 37. Former Yankees pitcher and Baseball Hall of Famer Jim "Catfish" Hunter also passed away from ALS in 1999, at the age of 53.
Known as "The Iron Horse," Gehrig played in 2,130 consecutive games before taking himself out of the Yankees' lineup prior to the team's May 2, 1939, game at Detroit. He never played in a Major League game again.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day, which was held on July 4, 1939, at Yankee Stadium. Ceremonies took place between games of a doubleheader vs. Washington. After receiving kind words from New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, U.S. Postmaster General James A. Farley, Yankees Manager Joe McCarthy and former teammate Babe Ruth, Gehrig stepped to the microphone to make his famous speech which began, "For the past two weeks, you've been reading about a bad break. Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth."