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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Gehrig's consecutive game streak (2,130) ends
By Larry Schwartz
Special to ESPN.com
May 2, 1939
Lou Gehrig's amazing streak of playing in 2,130 consecutive games ends. With his batting average an unhealthy .143 (4-for-28) after eight games, Gehrig, suffering from an unexplained weakness and sluggishness, removes himself from the Yankees' lineup before today's game in Detroit.
The 35-year-old Iron Horse tells manager Joe McCarthy that he thinks it would be best for the team if somebody else played first base.
"I haven't been a bit of good to the team since the season started," Gehrig tells reporters. "It's tough to see your mates on base, have a chance to win a game, and not be able to do anything about it.
"This record for consecutive games was always meaningless to me. Some of you newspaper guys wouldn't believe it, but maybe you will now."
Babe Dahlgren replaces Gehrig at first base and contributes a homer and double in the Yankees' 22-2 pounding of the Tigers. Gehrig says he expects to be on the bench "for just a few days." However, he will never play again. The results of an examination will reveal he has ALS, a form of infantile paralysis. The illness will come to be referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease. On June 2, 1941 -- exactly 16 years to the day after he replaced Wally Pipp at first base -- Gehrig will die of the disease.
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