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MLB Announces Plans to Host First Annual Lou Gehrig Day in June

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Major League Baseball will host its first annual Lou Gehrig Day this season, honoring the late New York Yankees player and his battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the league announced Thursday.

The event will take place on June 2, the anniversary of Gehrig's death.

"Each year, we will celebrate his legacy and honor those we've lost to ALS. Together, we will help in the fight against this disease," the league wrote on Twitter alongside the announcement.

Lou Gehrig Day will see teams sport a jersey patch reading "4-ALS" to honor Gehrig, who wore the number on his jersey for more than a decade with the Yankees, according to ESPN.

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The league will also use the event to raise money and awareness for ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, and honor ALS advocacy groups like the LG4Day committee.

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According to ESPN, songwriter Bryan Wayne Galentine — a member of the LG4Day committee who was diagnosed with ALS in 2017 — had been suggesting a day dedicated to Gehrig for years.

Galentine and his LG4Day committee co-chairs, Adam Wilson and Chuck Haberstroh, hoped the MLB would agree to honor Gehrig similar to how the league celebrates former players Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente.

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Galentine's goal for LG4Day was for teams to come together for something more specific than holding individual ALS awareness days.

"He just said, 'I can sit here and wither away, or I can get up off my keister and do something,' " Galentine's wife, Staci, told ESPN. "From day one, that was his mission."

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After spending two years trying to secure approval for the event, all 30 MLB teams agreed in October 2020.

Just days later, Galentine died after his years-long battle with ALS.

"It became his purpose," Staci said of her husband's dedication to Lou Gehrig Day. "He ate, drank, lived, breathed it. To be able to take this game and this disease, put them together and see it come to fruition ... he knew it was coming. I'm so thankful for that day we found out this was happening. It is a celebration. This is not a sad thing. It's something he believed in so deeply."