Since 1955, Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity has presented the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award to the Major League Baseball player, who best exemplifies the spirit and character of Lou Gehrig, both on and off the field. Created to memorialize beloved Phi Delta Theta member Lou Gehrig following his death from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), the award is housed in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. Through the growing impact of the award, Phi Delta Theta recognizes some of the best men in baseball while positively impacting the ALS community of its winners and finalists.
Now, to further Lou Gehrig’s legacy and his storied baseball career that began at the collegiate level at Columbia University, Phi Delta Theta, in partnership with the Live Like Lou Foundation, has created the Lou Gehrig Community Impact Team to annually recognize the giving character and community impact of collegiate baseball players.
“College baseball players have many opportunities to create a positive impact in their communities, and we know that many are leveraging their platform to accomplish precisely that. Phi Delta Theta and the Live Like Lou Foundation strongly believe these players merit recognition. Through the Lou Gehrig Community Impact Team, we will recognize and share the stories of college baseball players who are setting admirable examples for their teams and communities, all while honoring the legacy of Lou Gehrig and caring for the ALS community.”
—Steve Good, Lou Gehrig Memorial Award and Lou Gehrig Community Impact Team
The Lou Gehrig Community Impact Team
The inaugural Lou Gehrig Community Impact Team will be announced in February 2024, and it will celebrate nine collegiate baseball players from various levels, including NCAA Division 1, Division 2, Division 3, and NAIA. Honorees will be chosen annually based on outstanding achievements in three key areas:
- Demonstrating a substantial commitment to their community through service and philanthropy.
- Embodying the generous spirit and character of Lou Gehrig.
- Making remarkable contributions to the success of their respective teams.
The player who garners the highest number of votes among the nine team members will be designated as the Captain. The Captain’s college or university will then have the chance to collaborate with Phi Delta Theta and the Live Like Lou Foundation to organize an on-field ceremony dedicated to honoring the player and contributing $4,000 to support a family affected by ALS in the local community. Additionally, every Lou Gehrig Community Impact Team member will receive a commemorative plaque celebrating their remarkable achievements.
The Nomination and Voting Process
Each fall, communication will be sent to the nearly 1,200 collegiate athletic departments that field baseball teams, encouraging the nomination of a player. All nominations for the inaugural team are due by December 15, 2023.
Following the deadline, nominations will be presented to the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award Committee for a vote. The committee comprises Phi Delta Theta alumni involved in the sports world, former and current professional and collegiate baseball players and coaches, and individuals leading ALS awareness efforts in baseball.
About Phi Delta Theta:
“The core essence of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity is deeply rooted in the collegiate experience, making college baseball an ideal platform to expand the impact of the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award through the Lou Gehrig Community Impact Team. Phi Delta Theta members hold a strong connection to Lou Gehrig, and we are confident that they will take immense pride in witnessing his enduring legacy flourish through this new accolade on campuses across the nation.”
—Sean Wagner, Executive Vice President and CEO, Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity
About the Live Like Lou Foundation:
“Through the Lou Gehrig Community Impact Team, Live Like Lou is excited to expand our footprint in the ALS community through the realm of college baseball. Witnessing college students as they engage with and support causes in their communities is truly inspiring, and we are enthusiastic about the additional opportunities that will be offered to the team’s Captain, allowing them to make an even greater difference.”
—Wendy Faust, Executive Director, Live Like Lou Foundation
Questions about the Lou Gehrig Impact Team can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.