Lackawanna County man with ties to Lou Gehrig discusses the legend’s impact on and off the field

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DALTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Lou Gehrig Day is being observed to bring attention to ALS. Even if you are not a baseball fan most people associate Gehrig with the debilitating disease.

Joe Glenn is a longtime area educator and coach. He is proud to say that his dad won three world championships with the New York Yankees. The Dickson City native was a catcher on many a local diamond.

“He came up in the ’32 season, see, they use to call people up, and that’s when he caught Babe Ruth’s last game. They traded in 1939 to St. Louis, and then St. Louis traded him to Boston,” Glenn explained. “And he became a scout, 25 years, that was it, in professional baseball.”

Glenn tells Eyewitness News, during those Yankee powerhouse teams of the 1930s, his mom became good friends with the wives of both Gehrig and Ruth.

“My mother, now, sat in the box with Babe Ruth’s wife, and Lou Gehrig’s wife, in Yankee stadium. He said he was a good teammate. He never gave anybody any trouble, everybody liked him, but the guy that made the, the big headlines was Babe Ruth,” Glenn said.

And as for the consecutive games played, a streak of 2,130 broken by the Orioles’ Cal Ripken, Jr. In 1995, this son of a former Gehrig teammate sympathizes with the health problems, the original Iron Horse of Baseball must have been dealing with.

“Couldn’t believe it, and so on, he never told anybody like he was not feeling good, played all those games,  even when he was sick, until he finally couldn’t go anymore,” said Glenn.

Gehrig continues to be an inspiration to those diagnosed with ALS. According to the ALS Foundation, every 90 minutes someone passes away from, and is diagnosed with the disease. The hope is that Lou Gehrig Day across Major League Baseball will help raise awareness and understanding of ALS.

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