Lou Gehrig saying farewell to Yankees fans, his head bowed as he speaks into a cluster of microphones near home plate on July 4, 1939, endures as the most iconic speech in sports history. it was a 274-word speech that in the Bronx as Gehrig retired from baseball as he suffered through Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Babe Ruth, right, comforts Lou Gehrig, who was almost too moved to speak to the vast throng which acclaimed him at Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939 where the Yankees met the Washington Senators in a doubleheader. Gehrig, famed iron man of the Yankees, was honored by players and fans in his retirement speech.
New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, standing at right of the microphones, paid respects to Lou Gehrig, left, as 60,000 fans jammed Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939 to cheer the retiring "Iron Horse." The World Champions paid tribute to their great first baseman during their doubleheader with the Washington Senators.
Lou Gehrig wipes away a tear while speaking during his retirement speech at a sold-out tribute at Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1939.