By Steve Good, Phi Delta Theta Senior Vice President of Growth, Engagement & Philanthropy
In March 2021, Major League Baseball announced that Lou Gehrig Day will be celebrated annually on June 2. With the announcement, Lou Gehrig joined Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente as the only players to have a day reserved in their honor throughout the league. For those who have been affected by ALS, as well as those who support and advocate for the disease, Lou Gehrig Day provides another major platform to strengthen Lou Gehrig’s legacy. It also gives many ALS families hope that heightened awareness and funding for this awful disease will bring great process for treatments or a cure.
Why June 2? It is the day in 1925 that Gehrig began his record-breaking consecutive games streak (2,130) and later, the day the Iron Horse died eighty-three years ago.
It’s no secret that Phi Delta Theta and its members care about leaving ALS better than we found it. Since 1955, the Fraternity has proudly presented the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award to a Major League Baseball player who exemplifies the characteristics of our beloved Fraternity brother, both on and off the field. In 2018, the Fraternity launched the national LiveLikeLou Foundation to take our commitment and impact to the next level. Every day we see our members serving ALS families, raising vital dollars, hosting philanthropic events, becoming Iron Phis, and sparking progress in their communities. Phi Delta Theta continues to build an army of support for ALS.
As the 2022 Lou Gehrig Day nears, Major League Baseball clubs are planning unique celebrations, ALS-related organizations are rallying their people, and fans are purchasing tickets to be a part of this special day. Below are a number of ways you can join the celebration throughout the month of June.
Lou Gehrig Memorial Award presentation – On Friday, June 3, Phi Delta Theta will present the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award to Salvador Pérez of the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. The presentation will occur on the field prior to the game. After the first inning, Phi Delta Theta will join the LiveLikeLou Foundation and Permobil Foundation for a very special presentation to a local ALS family. A group outing is set to occur at Kauffman Stadium.
Attend a game – Eleven Major League Baseball games will be played on June 2, and each will have unique celebrations and features of Lou Gehrig and the ALS community throughout the game. Take this opportunity to cheer on your favorite team, and if you plan to attend a game, don’t forget to wear your favorite Phi Delta Theta, LiveLikeLou, or Iron Phi apparel. Teams that are not playing at home on June 2 plan to celebrate a Lou Gehrig Day during a June homestand.
Gather with fellow Phi Delts at a First Thursdays with the Phis location – On Lou Gehrig Day (June 2), Phi Delts will gather at 6 p.m. at thirty-five First Thursdays with the Phis locations across North America. Round up your Phi Delt crew in your city and join other Phis doing the same for these casual gatherings filled with brotherhood.
Sport some gear – Purchase Lou Gehrig related items at the Phi Delt Store that benefit the LiveLikeLou Foundation. The MLB Shop also has a great shirt for sale.
Cincinnati Reds fans – The Reds play the Nationals on June 2 at Great American Ballpark, and Phi Delta Theta and the LiveLikeLou Foundation are hosting a pre-game event at the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum and a ticket block. A few tickets for our event remain.
Pittsburgh Pirates fans – LiveLikeLou’s roots are in Pittsburgh and the city is home to the LiveLikeLou Center for ALS Research at the University of Pittsburgh Brain Institute. On June 3, LiveLikeLou and Phi Delta Theta will be on the field prior to the Pirates game to present a scholarship to a local college student. More than seventy supporters of Phi Delta Theta and the LiveLikeLou Foundation will be in attendance.
San Francisco Giants fans – As a result of Brandon Crawford being named a finalist for the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award, Phi Delta Theta will join the LiveLikeLou Foundation and the Permobil Foundation on the field before the June 9 Giants game for a special presentation to an ALS family. A ticket block has been reserved at Oracle Park for the game. Twenty-five tickets are still available.
Chicago White Sox fans – As a result of Liam Hendriks being named a finalist for the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award, Phi Delta Theta will join the LiveLikeLou Foundation and the Permobil Foundation on the field before the June 26 White Sox game for a special presentation to an ALS family. A ticket block has been reserved at Guarateed Rate Field for the game. Tickets are still available.
Become an Iron Phi – Saying that you became an Iron Phi (or started your journey) on Lou Gehrig Day would be a big deal. Setup your fundraising page, lace up the shoes, jump on your bike, and use your athleticism to make a difference. Have you already raised $1,000 but are still searching for an athletic event? Four miles on Lou Gehrig Day is your play!
Sign up to serve an ALS family – More than two hundred fifty ALS families have been connected to Phi Delts since the LiveLikeLou Foundation introduced its Great Outdoor Cleanup. There are still many ALS families to be matched with volunteers, and there may not be a better way to honor the legacy of Lou Gehrig than to serve a family.
Make a donation to the LiveLikeLou Foundation – Phi Delta Theta’s association with the LiveLikeLou Foundation continues to make incredible impact on ALS families and research. Help the LiveLikeLou Foundation continue its rapid growth and impact with a donation.
Spread the word – There will be no shortage of great social media content surrounding this exciting celebration. Get those fingers ready to like, share, retweet, and post. Awareness comes in all forms. #LiveLikeLou #LouGehrigDay
Year two of Lou Gehrig Day is shaping up to be another momentous day for the ALS cause and Lou Gehrig’s legacy. As Phi Delts, we have so much to be proud of being association with Lou Gehrig. Let’s do everything we can to honor his legacy.