Yankees: MLB honoring Lou Gehrig with ceremonial day is well-earned

NEW YORK - 1930. Lou Gehrig, left, and Babe Ruth exchange laughs at the batting cage in Yankee Stadium before a game in 1930. (Photo by Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - 1930. Lou Gehrig, left, and Babe Ruth exchange laughs at the batting cage in Yankee Stadium before a game in 1930. (Photo by Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images) /
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New York Yankees legend Lou Gehrig is getting the memorial honor he long ago earned.

Some ideas don’t need a full years-long gestation period to begin to make sense; instead, they simply click.

Reserving a day across Major League Baseball to honor the memory of Lou Gehrig, while bowing to all of those we’ve lost to ALS in the decades since the Iron Horse’s stunning diagnosis as well, was a home run befitting of No. 4.

Now, sure to never get lost in some other star’s shadow, Gehrig will be celebrated league-wide on June 2, thanks in large part to the efforts of ALS advocates and sufferers, both still here and beyond.

Only a trio of major leaguers, all afflicted in their own way, have ever received such an honor.

Roberto Clemente, who perished far too soon after blazing a trail for generations of Latino ballplayers yet to come, has a day of remembrance. So does Jackie Robinson, who shook off waves of despicable treatment to bust down baseball’s most prominent barrier.

Now Gehrig, forced to watch his world-class strength dissolve, will stand eternally as a totem for thousands who remain afflicted.

MLB making June 2 “Lou Gehrig Day” was a no-brainer.

The celebration will come on June 2, the day Gehrig both began his remarkable consecutive games streak (in 1925) and the day he lost his life (in 1941).

There seemed to be, briefly, some momentum behind honoring him on July 4 weekend, in memory of his famed speech to the masses in the Bronx, but a holiday all his own likely makes more sense. This certainly reclaims the focus — and will hopefully raise large sums for ALS research each time MLB’s teams take the field.

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The reality of this holiday came in large part due to the strenuous efforts of activist and ALS patient Pat Quinn, who sadly passed away before he was able to see his “Lou Gehrig Day” vision realized.

Surely, though, Quinn always knew it was an inevitability once he presented such a well-rounded idea, and can rest easy with the knowledge that the movement he spurred has passed the finish line.