Lou played his entire baseball career for the New York Yankees (1923-1939). He is an American hero, and his early tragic death made him an American legend.
Lou Gehrig took over first base for the Yankees in 1925, and once he replaced Wally Pipp at first base, he didn't leave the diamond for over 13 years. Then, in 1938, Lou's batting average fell below .300 for the first time in his career, and it was evident that his health was failing. The following season he played only the first eight games. On April 30, 1939, he went hitless against the Washington Senators. Lou Gehrig had just played his 2,130th consecutive major league game.
On May 2, the next game after a day off, Gehrig approached Yankee skipper Joe McCarthy before the game in Detroit against the Tigers and said, "I'm benching myself, Joe," saying that he was doing so for the good of the team. Gehrig himself took the lineup card out to the shocked umpires before the game, ending his fourteen-year consecutive game playing streak. Before the game began, the announcer in Briggs Stadium told the fans, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is the first time Lou Gehrig's name will not appear on the Yankee lineup in 2,130 consecutive games." The Detroit Tiger's fans gave Lou a standing ovation while he sat on the bench with tears in his eyes.