Monday, October 27, 2008
No baseball farewell, perhaps no farewell in any walk of life, will ever be remembered as fondly as the one given by Lou Gehrig, July 4, 1939. Diagnosed with a fatal disease, Lou was saying "goodbye" to all of us, that day. Now, the Yankees are giving their loyal fans an extended opportunity through the end of the year to say “goodbye” to their old friend, “Yankee Stadium.” Mets fans have no such opportunity to do the same with Shea. As everyone knows, the Mets never ever did things to match the Yankees’ "class and tradition." In a hallowed place that’s given us so many wonderful memories, here’s a chance for Yankee fans, baseball fans and all New Yorker’s to have one last, intimate moment with the ballpark itself. Tickets will be $20 for adults and $15 for kids. Children 14 and under may enter free. For ticket information, call 718.293-4300.
Lou Gehrig’s Farewell Address, 7/4/39
Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about a bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.
I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans. Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn’t consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day?
Sure I’m lucky.
Who wouldn’t consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball’s greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy?
Sure I’m lucky.
When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift - that’s something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies -- that’s something.
When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter -- that’s something.
When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so you can have an education and build your body -- it’s a blessing.
When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed -- that’s the finest I know.
So, I close in saying that I might have been given a bad break, but I've got an awful lot to live for.