Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Impact to End ALS Continues with Fourth Annual Lou Gehrig Day at Major League Baseball Games

MDA community to attend and participate in more than 17 Major League Baseball games honoring Yankees first baseman the late Lou Gehrig, whose diagnosis with ALS sparked a movement to support funding for research for a cure.

New York, May 21, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) is gathering its extended community at Major League Baseball (MLB) parks across the United States, uniting ALS families, care center staff, and partners from organizations and corporations that are deeply invested in MDA’s mission-driven work to end ALS. Also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease ALS took the life of the famed Yankee slugger at the age of 37.

The ALS community and teams from MLB honor Lou Gehrig Day on June 2, marking the date when Gehrig became the Yankees' starting first baseman, and the same date he passed away from ALS in 1941. When MDA was founded in 1950, Gehrig’s widow, Eleanor, sought to make a difference in the fight against the disease that claimed her husband’s life. Her involvement with MDA helped shape the organization’s focus on ALS, creating the field of researchers, clinicians, and advocates committed to finding a cure. Decades of progress are now leading to scientific breakthroughs. MDA’s recognition of Lou Gehrig Day at 17 ballparks across the country raises awareness and funds for its mission in support of families living with ALS.

MDA families, volunteers, partners, advocates, and friends will be decked out in custom jerseys to signify their admiration of Lou Gehrig and to recognize baseball’s first ALS warriors in the public eye. Donations to support the mission may be made at, with a donation of $100 or more receive a limited edition ‘End ALS with MDA’ baseball jersey. To learn more about MDA's Legacy of Hope Inspired by Eleanor Gehrig's Fight Against ALS in this video, and visit

June 2 the MDA's Let’s Play Community Celebrates Lou Gehrig Day at San Francisco Giants vs. New York Yankees:
MDA's Let's Play is an interactive community initiative where members connect through gaming and live streams to build camaraderie and community for people living with neuromuscular disease. Leading up to the event, join MDA’s special Twitch streams led by host Kenny Small, known as “Beaniez,” featuring trivia and stories about Lou Gehrig, discussions on ALS, and more. Engage with MDA on Discord and X for a countdown filled with facts and insights into the significance of the day. On June 2, experience an exclusive pre-game live stream directly from the ballpark. Enjoy behind-the-scenes coverage, interactive Q&A sessions, and live updates during the game. MDA Let’s Play will also feature special segments with guests at the game and encourage the community to participate on social media using #LouGehrigDay and #EndALSwithMDA. MDA Let’s Play will honor the legacy of Lou Gehrig and promote awareness about ALS and other neuromuscular diseases.

"Since the 1950s when Eleanor Gehrig stepped into the role of Campaign Chairman for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, we have been catalyzing efforts to unravel the mysteries of ALS and generating advancements in treatment. MDA is a leading funder of ALS research worldwide and provides support for multidisciplinary care teams across the only coast-to-coast network of clinics for people living with ALS and other neuromuscular diseases. Our dedication echoes the enduring legacies of Lou Gehrig and his wife, Eleanor. We commend Major League Baseball for their steadfast support of Lou Gehrig Day, empowering baseball enthusiasts to contribute to ALS breakthroughs," said Donald S. Wood, PhD, President and CEO, MDA.

MDA salutes the work of The Lou & Eleanor Gehrig Society, led by Chairman of the Board, Dr. R. Rodney Howell (former Chairman of MDA’s Board of Directors), alongside John Howell, President of the Society and an MDA Board member. Mr. Howell’s late grandfather Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, was Mr. Gehrig’s physician and came under his care every day for his remaining two years. Their friendship deepened, and when Mr. Gehrig’s widow Eleanor died, she left a large portion of her estate to support the work that Dr. Esselstyn devoted his career to, and which Mr. Gehrig came to respect and praise: identifying policies, techniques and programs that prevent disease. Work that MDA continues.

MDA encourages the community to share their Lou Gehrig Day stories using #LouGehrigDay throughout the MLB team celebrations, including the 85th Anniversary of Gehrig’s “Luckiest Man” speech on July 4, 2024. MDA invites its community to commemorate the spirit of this day in their own way—playing baseball, educating people about ALS, or sharing personal thoughts on overcoming challenges to raise awareness about ALS and celebrate Gehrig's unforgettable impact on the world.

MDA will participate in the following MLB schedule:

  • June 3 – Arizona Diamondbacks
  • June 2 – Boston Red Sox
  • June 2 – Baltimore Orioles
  • June 2 – Chicago Cubs
  • May 26 – Chicago White Sox
  • May 23 – Detroit Tigers
  • June 2 – Houston Astros
  • June 2 – Kansas City Royals
  • June 3 – Los Angeles Angels
  • June 2 – Miami Marlins
  • June 2 – Milwaukee Brewers
  • June 2 – Philadelphia Phillies
  • June 4 – Pittsburgh Pirates
  • June 2 – San Francisco Giants
  • June 11 – St. Louis Cardinals
  • June 2 – Seattle Mariners

About MDA's work in ALS:
The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) is the #1 voluntary health organization in the United States for people living with muscular dystrophy, ALS, and related neuromuscular diseases. For 74 years, MDA has led the way in ALS research, investing over $176 million in innovations in ALS science and care. Thanks to MDA-funded research, tremendous leaps forward have been made in the understanding of the causes of ALS and there are now FDA approved treatments. MDA's commitment to ALS includes support for a network of more than 150 multidisciplinary Care Centers at top medical institutions nationwide, including 47 designated MDA/ALS Care Centers. MDA's data hub, called MOVR, is the first-of-its-kind data technology hub, which collects clinical and genetic data from our network of Care Centers for neuromuscular diseases including ALS, serving as a valuable tool for accelerating therapy development. MDA's advocacy efforts led to the passing of the ACT for ALS into law, which will accelerate access to treatment for the ALS community. The advocacy continues for the ALS Better Care Act in support of funding for multidisciplinary care. To learn more visit and follow MDA on InstagramFacebookXTikTok, and LinkedIn, and #EndALSwithMDA.


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