English Composition 1301
26 May 2012
Lou Gehrig’s Farewell Speech Analysis
Imagine a young boy and his father going to the New York Yankees ballpark on a warm sunny day. The date is July 4, 1939 and it is Lou Gehrig appreciation day at the ballpark. Lou Gehrig had been playing major league baseball for seventeen years and is one of the most well thought of players in the game. When the boy and his father arrive at the ballpark, Lou walks to a podium and begins to talk. Without any prior warning, this icon begins to talk about a deadly disease that he has been contracted with and that he must immediately retire from the game of baseball forever. The stadium sits silently and Lou continues to describe how he considers himself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. The humbleness of the man on the podium shocks the crowd and begins to bring the spectators to tears. Children, men, and woman across the ballpark cannot believe that this icon, this hero to all American, is dieing as he speaks. At the close of Gehrig's emotional speech, Babe Ruth walked up, put his arm around his former teammate and spoke in his ear the first words they had shared since 1934. Gehrig was elected to the Hall of Fame that December. He died in 1941, at age 37 (Cavicke, Dana, O'Leary 393).
When examining the history of baseball, Lou Gehrig remains one of the most highly respected and most inspirational figures in the game. Gehrig seemed to have the world in the palm of his hand. This man had it all: a beautiful wife, a salary that would equal millions of dollars today, and the idolization of people across America. Gehrig had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. This disease is perhaps one of the most feared diseases, for it traps a person’s mind inside their body. The disease completely paralyzes the victim’s body and prevents them from even talking (Cavicke, Dana, and O'Leary). The victim of this disease can still hear and is still able to think properly, but...
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