Lou Gehrig

1st Baseman

Class of 1939

Lou Gehrig

1st Baseman

Class of 1939
If you look up the word ‘ballplayer” in the dictionary, it is possible they’ll have a picture of Lou Gehrig


Birth year

About Lou Gehrig

“I took the two most expensive aspirins in history.” – Yankee first baseman Wally Pipp, who sat out a 1925 game with a headache and lost his position to Lou Gehrig, who would play every game there for the Yankees until his retirement in 1939.

If you look up the word "ballplayer” in the dictionary, it is possible they’ll have a picture of Lou Gehrig, stalwart New York Yankee first baseman. Gehrig is chiefly known for playing in 2,130 consecutive games for the Yankees, a magnificent streak long thought to have been unbreakable until Cal Ripken, Jr. came along.

Gehrig wore uniform No. 4, because he hit behind Babe Ruth, the third batter in the Yankees' lineup. One of the most magnificent hitters and run producers in history, Gehrig was often overshadowed by Ruth, who was not only an unparalleled hitter, but was as outgoing and flamboyant as Gehrig was reserved and quiet.

"He just went out and did his job every day," Hall of Famer Bill Dickey said of Gehrig.

Gehrig scored more than 100 runs and recorded at least 100 RBI for 13 straight seasons in a career that featured just 14 seasons as a regular player. He led the American League in runs four times, home runs three times, RBI five times, on-base percentage five times and batting average once. He finished among the league’s top three hitters in batting average seven times. He racked up eight 200-plus hit seasons.

In 1931, he set the AL single-season RBI mark with 185 – hitting behind Ruth, who knocked in 162 of his own. His 1934 Triple Crown season was remarkable, as he hit .363, knocked 49 home runs and drove in 166 runs.

He was the All-Star first baseman for the first seven All-Star teams, from 1933-39, though he retired just prior to the 1939 game. During his 17 seasons, the Yankees won seven pennants and six World Series. Gehrig’s World Series contributions include a .361 batting average, 10 home runs and 35 RBI in 34 games.

Gehrig’s consecutive games streak came to an end on May 2, 1939, when he removed himself from the lineup after a dismal start caused by his mysterious neuromuscular disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS – later known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”

Gehrig was the Yankee captain from 1935 until his death in 1941. In 1969, he was voted the greatest first baseman of all time by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. In 1989, on the 50th anniversary of the end of his streak, he was honored with a United States postage stamp. In 1999, he was the leading vote-getter for Major League Baseball’s All-Century Team.

Teammate George Selkirk on Gehrig: “Lou Gehrig was a guy who could really hit the ball, was dependable and seemed so durable that many of us thought he could have played forever.”

Gehrig was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1939. He passed away on June 2, 1941.

The Basics

Year inducted
Birth Place
New York, New York
Birth Year
1941, Bronx New York

Career at a Glance

Primary Team
New York Yankees
Primary Position
1st Baseman
Played For
New York Yankees, 1923-1939

Career MLB Stats

At bats
Home Runs
Stolen Bases
Batting Average
On Base %
Slugging %

Lou Gehrig Stories

Explore the archives and go deep into the lives, careers, and stories of the Hall of Fame's honorees.

Luckiest Man

1934 Japan Tour Footage

Lou Gehrig hits four consecutive home runs

Pieces of History

Iron Horse, Steel Will

At Home on the Road

Lou Gehrig appears in his 2,000th consecutive game for the Yankees

#Shortstops: Gehrig’s legacy shined bright in Normandy