The Yankees Babe Dahlgren warms up at first base as he gets ready to replace Lou Gehrig as the Iron Horse’s streak of consecutive games played is about to end at 2,130. An unknown condition at the time was zapping Gehrig of his strength and after going hitless against Washington on April 30th that dropped his batting avg to .143, Gehrig went up to Yankee manager Joe McCarthy and said “I’m benching myself, Joe”. Telling him it was for good of the team.
Dahlgren would hit a home run in a 22-2 rout of the Tigers and knocked in two runs. Left fielder Charlie Keller would also go yard and drive in six runs as New York would hit four home runs in all on the day as Detroit’s pitching went from bad to worse in giving up 12 walks along with 17 hits.
Gehrig would never step on the field again as a player and in his place Dahlgren would hit 15 home runs, knock in 89 runs and bat .235 the rest of the way that year. Not the numbers Yankee fans were use to seeing from the Iron Horse, but still respectable nonetheless.
A little over a month later on June 19th, Gehrig’s 36th birthday, it would be confirmed at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota that the former slugger was suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) – or what is known today as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Gehrig would pass away on On June 2, 1941 at the age of 37.