Gehrig, Lou (Louis Gehrig)gârˈĭg, 1903–41, American baseball player, b. New York City. He studied and played baseball at Columbia, where he was spotted by a scout for the New York Yankees. As the team's first baseman (1925–39), Gehrig played in 2,130 consecutive league games (setting a record that stood until 1995, when it was broken by Cal Ripken, Jr.), batted .361 in seven World Series, and broke many other major-league records. The "Iron Horse," as he was known to admirers, had a lifetime batting average of .340, and his 493 home runs rank him among the game's best. He four times won the Most Valuable Player award. Stricken by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a rare type of paralysis since commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease, Gehrig retired from baseball in 1939 and served (1940–41) as a parole commissioner in New York City. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939.
See K. Brandt, Lou Gehrig: Pride of the Yankees (1985); J. Eig, Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig (2005).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.