Lou Gehrig’s Farewell Speech Essay

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Lou Gehrig’s Farewell Speech

Throughout the course of American history, there have been copious amounts of famous speeches, spoken by many different people. From political figures to sports players; these people have provided deep thoughts and great insights about who they are and the world we live in today. Being a sports enthusiast, a memorable speech comes to my mind. Lou Gehrig’s “farewell speech”, given on July 4th, 1939, to more than 62,000 fans at New York City’s Yankee Stadium, has become a cornerstone in the history of baseball in America. Lou Gehrig is considered one of the most under-rated sports players of all time. Gehrig played in the same era with greats like Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio. In Fact, Gehrig played on the
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Gehrig was not removed from playing baseball; rather, Gehrig took himself out, after not being able to leg out an infield hit. Gehrig was diagnosed with a rare degenerative disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (a.k.a. – Lou Gehrig’s disease); Lou Gehrig would never play baseball again. The purpose of his farewell speech was to formally address his fans all over the world, and confirm the rumors that Gehrig would never play baseball again.

There are several different structures that could be used to describe this speech, but the main structure is cause and effect. A lot of Gehrig’s fans believed that this unfortunate diagnosis would cause some sort of depression, anger within himself, or withdrawal from the American people. This was not the case, however. Gehrig’s first line of his speech, “Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this Earth.” – Clearly shows cause and effect structure. The diagnosis of “Lou Gehrig’s disease” did not cause Gehrig to be depressed; rather, it caused Gehrig to be thankful for what he had.

Throughout this speech, each form of rhetoric is used. The first obvious rhetorical appeal would be Ethos. A prestigious sports figure like Lou Gehrig definitely has ethos appeal. Lou Gehrig got the attention of thousands maybe millions of people when he gave his
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