Archive for June, 2010

For many years I had heard the words of Lou Gehrig’s speech and thought they were very profound, particularly for a guy who was diagnosed with a debilitating and terminal disease.   Many of us could probably quote his words, “today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth.”  But recently I read the entire speech, which apparently was not written ahead of time, and was even more moved with admiration and appreciation.  Here are the words of Lou Gehrig’s speech, delivered on July 4, 1939, at Yankee Stadium:

“Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth. I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.

“Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn’t consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day? Sure, I’m lucky. Who wouldn’t consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball’s greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy? Sure, I’m lucky.

“When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift – that’s something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies – that’s something. When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter – that’s something. When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so you can have an education and build your body – it’s a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed – that’s the finest I know.

“So I close in saying that I may have had a tough break, but I have an awful lot to live for.”

Among the things and people he’s thankful and appreciative for are:

1. His mother-in-law.

2. His parents.

3. His wife.

4. The opportunity to play with and be surrounded by so many fine players.

We should stop and take stock of our lives, and when we do we might just find out we are more than lucky, we’re truly blessed to have the people in our lives who make us better people, the daily opportunities, and so much more.  Even in sickness, hardship, or pain we could conclude, “I may have had a tough break, but I have an awful lot to live for.”

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