Top of the Fourth
“As a celebration of the magic of movies involving baseball, at least one scene from a different film will be posted each day for the next nine days…”
—From “Top of the First” March 28th
In baseball, there are blocks of time during a game that are uneventful. And in this case, the third inning didn’t see anything particularly out of the ordinary and, as a result, we will continue on to the fourth inning.
Lou Gehrig’s “Farewell to Baseball Address” is one of the most famous, if not the most famous, speeches given by an athlete in sports history. According to the second video below, he learned that he was diagnosed with the disease ALS. It would later become known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Subsequently, the Yankee slugger learned he had just three years to live as a result. About a month and a half later, on July 4, 1939, Gehrig stood before a stand of microphones at or around home plate and gave an emotional speech that continues to inspire more than seven decades later. Fittingly, the Yankee organization declared it, “Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day.” They scheduled the event upon first hearing of his news. The most famous line is considered to be, “Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth.”
The major motion picture, “Pride of the Yankees” includes this very address. Below is the scene, as well as footage from the actual ceremony.
Gary Cooper as Lou Gehrig