May 2: 1939, Lou Gehrig found the pain had become too great, and he pulled himself from the lineup. His games played streak ended at 2130, exceeding the previous record by over 1000 and remained the record until Cal Ripken, Jr came along half a century later.
Arguably the greatest first baseman ever. He had the most grand slams in history (23) until Alex Rodriguez broke the record. He had the third highest OPS ever, 1,080, behind only Babe Ruth and Ted Williams. He won two MVPs. He earned a Triple Crown. I could keep going, but you get the point.
Just try watching Gary Cooper as Lou Gehrig giving his farewell speech at Yankee Stadium in “Pride Of the Yankees” without tearing up a little. I dare you. (BTW, the part of Babe Ruth in that movie was played by: Babe Ruth.)
Gehrig passed away due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known ever since as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, on June 2, 1941, the 16th anniversary of his replacing Wally Pipp in the Yankees lineup. He was 37.