On August 18, 1931, the New York Yankees played the Detroit Tigers at Tiger Stadium in Corktown, Detroit. This day was important for one player: Lou Gehrig. The game marked his 1,000th consecutively played game in Major League Baseball.
The 1931 season was not the Tiger’s best. They had 61 wins and 93 loses, finishing 7th out of 8 teams in the American League.
The series was 2-1, with the Yankees in the lead. It was a steamy August day. The Tigs went on to beat the Yanks 5-4. And sadly for Gehrig, he did not get a hit during his 1,000th game.
Ironically, another Gehrig milestone was made at Tiger Stadium on May 2, 1939. His 2,130th consecutive game streak ended. It is said that Detroit fans honored Gehrig with a standing ovation as he sat teary-eyed on the bench. Although this was a great blow to Gehrig’s pride, the Yanks beat the Tigers 22-2. Ouch!
In 1939, Gehrig was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) when he was only 36. He died in 1941. Because of its rareness, the disease is now closely associated with the baseball star. In the United States, it is often called “Lou Gehrig’s disease.”
To this day, Gehrig still holds the record for the most grand slams in a career: 23. During the 1931 season, Gehrig had 184 RBI’s; he still holds the American League record.
Tiger Stadium was in use from 1912-1999. It was listed on the National Register of Historic places, but was demolished in 2009. A piece of Detroit history, gone forever…
Sources: http://www.historyorb.com/countries/usa/michigan/detroit, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lou_Gehrig, http://www.lougehrig.com/about/achievements.htm