Rangers to commemorate official day one for MLB Lou Gehrig on Friday to raise awareness
The Rangers weren’t home for the first official MLB Lou Gehrig Day, but will commemorate it nonetheless on Friday before their game against Tampa Bay.
As part of the effort to raise awareness in the fight against amytrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the disease that ended Gehrig’s career and ultimately killed him, the MLB kicked off the official celebration of Gehrig. It was commemorated on Wednesday, the 82nd anniversary of Gehrig’s farewell speech.
Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente’s celebrations, which also have their own day, focus on societal and cultural changes. For families struggling with the effects of ALS, Gehrig’s Day may have even more intimate meaning.
Among them: Jim and Tamara Hilliard of Mansfield, parents of Colorado outfielder Sam Hilliard. Jim has been fighting the disease since 2017. The Hilliards will be at Globe Life Field on Friday for the commemoration. They had planned to go to Denver on Wednesday, but Sam was selected for the Triple-A Albuquerque in May. A year ago, when the Rockies opened the shortened season at Globe Life Field, the Rangers made sure the Hilliards were on hand to see Sam play. This time, they will be there to move the fight forward.
“It’s important to be a part of it,” said Tamara Hilliard, who served on the committee that asked the MLB to add Lou Gehrig Day. “Having Lou Gehrig Day throughout baseball adds ten times more to what we can do to educate the public. Hopefully this annual day will change the trajectory of the journey. “
The Hilliards are one of five local families struggling with the disease that the Rangers will welcome on Friday. They will be recognized in the 4th round; Gehrig wore the No. 4 of his career. The Rangers will also donate the proceeds of their 50/50 raffle to the ALS Society of Texas.
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