2023 MLB Games in Review

ALS Community
Lou Gehrig

As summer winds down, we find ourselves reflecting on an incredible few events to raise awareness for ALS and honor Lou Gehrig’s legacy.

We welcomed more than 1,000 friends of Live Like Lou to nine ballparks from June through early September to celebrate Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Lou Gehrig Day and other ALS awareness games.

In 2021, MLB announced it would celebrate Lou Gehrig Day league-wide annually on June 2. The date was selected to honor the date Lou became the Yankees’ starting first baseman, thus cementing the start of his incredible streak of 2,130 consecutive games played. It is also the day he passed from complications of ALS in 1941.

For many impacted by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Lou Gehrig Day creates a heightened awareness of the disease and provides hope that continued funding and research will lead to treatments and cures. For Live Like Lou, it’s an opportunity to join together with our partners in the fight against ALS including Phi Delta Theta (Lou Gehrig’s Fraternity!), the Permobil Foundation, Team Hilliard Foundation, members of the ALS community, and friends of Live Like Lou.

Checkout these highlights of our 2023 MLB game events!

Lou Gehrig Day at the San Francisco Giants | June 2, 2023

We kicked off the Lou Gehrig Day celebration at Oracle Park where Brandon Crawford was honored with the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award. The Giants hosted a community event for various ALS organizations and partners, and longtime Giants fan Osiel Mendoza was surprised with a Giants-branded custom Permobil power wheelchair on the field before the game.

Lou Gehrig Day at the Pittsburgh Pirates | June 2, 2023

PNC Park was another site of Live Like Lou's Lou Gehrig Day celebrations. We celebrated Iron Horse Scholarship recipient Wil Parton and his family, and Live Like Lou friend Cullen Cochlan threw out the first pitch in honor of his dad, Steven, who is living with ALS.

Lou Gehrig Day at the Cincinnati Reds | June 2, 2023

It was quite the ALS community gathering at Great American Ball Park for Lou Gehrig Day, and Live Like Lou and Phi Delta Theta staff members loved getting to attend an ALS community pre-game event and a post-game concert by the Zac Brown Band.

Lou Gehrig Day at the Atlanta Braves | June 6, 2023

There was no shortage of special celebrations at Truist Park for Lou Gehrig Day! Sam Hilliard was honored as a finalist for the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award, and his family's nonprofit, the Team Hilliard Foundation, matched Live Like Lou's scholarship for Zoe Champion, a student at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, whose dad is living with ALS. Matt Engleka, a dear friend of Live Like Lou, threw out the first pitch, and our friend Claire Smith got to announce, "Play ball!" in memory of her grandfather, Doug Smith, who battled ALS. We were honored to meet more than 100 Live Like Lou friends in attendance with us at the game.

Lou Gehrig Day at the St. Louis Cardinals | June 13, 2023

Paul Goldschmidt was another finalist for the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award, so we gathered at Busch Stadium to celebrate and then surprised Cardinals fan Len Jax with a power wheelchair from our friends at Permobil. Many ALS organizations were at the game that day and we loved interacting with them and several of our registered Live Like Lou families and researchers from Washington University St. Louis. We were able to present Iron Horse Scholarship recipient Brendan Schmitt with his check as well, in memory of his grandmother.

ALS Awareness Outing at the Arizona Diamondbacks | June 16, 2023

Joined by more than 450 members of Lou Gehrig's Fraternity, Phi Delta Theta, we had a great night at Chase Field! Phi Delt held its biennial convention in Scottsdale which made for a special gathering to surprise Bob Miller with a Diamondbacks-branded power wheelchair from Permobil, and to present Gabi Prieto with her Iron Horse Scholarship in memory of her mom, Jen, who passed away earlier this year.

ALS Awareness Outing at the Chicago White Sox | August 8, 2023

Guaranteed Rate Field provided a lovely summer evening to celebrate Liam Hendrix as a finalist for the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award and to celebrate Madalyn Goodman's Lou Gehrig Memorial Scholarship in memory of her father. We had three of our scholarship families in attendance at the game that night!

ALS Awareness Outing with the Los Angeles Dodgers | August 29, 2023

Clayton Kershaw was a finalist for the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award, so we gathered at Dodger Stadium to celebrate with the Dodgers and surprised lifelong Dodgers fan and Navy Veteran Ronnie Green with a Permobil power wheelchair.

ALS Awareness Outing with the Philadelphia Phillies | September 8, 2023

We rounded out our 2023 MLB games and events with an event at Citizens Bank Park. Sisters Renee and Nicole Fosco were presented with their Onward Awards to continue their studies at St. John's University, and Guy Dunagan was surprised with a Permobil power wheelchair in front of a crowd of dozens of his closest friends, family, and supporters in his ALS journey.

We can't wait to see how the 2023 MLB season wraps up and where the 2024 season will take Live Like Lou to continue generating awareness for Lou Gehrig's disease and leaving ALS better than we found it.

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