Lou Gehrig Lou Gehrig (1903-1941), American professional baseball player, also known as the Iron Horse because he established a record for the number of consecutive games played by a professional baseball player, appearing in 2130 games in succession from 1925 to 1939. The record was broken in 1995 when Cal Ripken, Jr., of the Baltimore Orioles surpassed the mark. Born Henry Louis Gehrig in New York City, he was educated at Columbia University. From 1923 until 1939 he played first base for the New York Yankees of the American League (AL). Although he was overshadowed by his charismatic teammate Babe Ruth, Gehrig was one of the most important players on the Yankees, one of the league's best teams in the 1920s and 1930s. He led the AL in runs batted in five times (1927, 1928, 1930, 1931, 1934) and broke the league record in 1931 when he totaled 184 runs batted in. Gehrig was voted the league's most valuable player (MVP) in 1927 and 1936, and he retired with a lifetime batting average of .340 and a total of 493 home runs. During his career he also hit 23 grand slams (home runs with three runners on base), a major league record. Stricken with the spinal disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which later became known as Lou Gehrig's disease, he retired from baseball early in the 1939 season. Gehrig was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame later that year, and in 1940 he was appointed a commissioner on the New York State Parole Board. He died from ALS the following year. The story of Gehrig's life was made into a motion picture, Pride of the Yankees (1942). Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.