Lou Gehrig's Speech : Farewell To Baseball

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Farewell to Baseball
June 19th, 1939 one of the New York Yankees and baseball's most famous first baseman, Lou Gehrig, was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis after six days of extensive testing. Fifteen days later on July 4th, 1939 Lou Gehrig flew to Yankee stadium in New York and gave his famous, “Farewell to Baseball” speech. The speech wasn't just for Yankees fans, but for all fans of baseball. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS for short, is a a nervous system disease that weakens muscles and impacts physical function, usually killing the person in two to five years. Gehrig knew he didn't have long. That's why fifteen days after his diagnosis Gehrig was standing at home plate in Yankee stadium telling all baseball fans of his retirement due to illness. In under 300 words, using ethos, logos, and pathos, Gehrig transformed how baseball fans viewed him, not just as a player, but as a person. Gehrig showed the world how strong willed and fearless a person can be in the face of adversity. The credibility, or ethos, of Gehrig's speech was already there before he ever started the speech. At the time of the speech Gehrig held one MLB record, Gehrig had played in 2,130 consecutive baseball games, quite possibly the most honorable MLB record. He was very well known and well respected by all fans and players. In his speech Gehrig says, “Who wouldn’t consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball’s greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have
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