*1925 | NEW YORK, NEW YORK – On this date in 1925 twenty-one year old Henry Louis Gehrig pinched hit for New York Yankee shortstop Paul Wanninger. It was the start of something special. Lou Gehrig would play in every single game for the next 14 years. He would surpass Everett Scott‘s consecutive game record of 1,307 and set his own of 2,130 consecutive games played.
The oft-repeated story is that Gehrig’s streak began when New York Yankee first baseman Wally Pipp asked for a day off because of a headache. Another story is Yankee manager Miller Huggins didn’t start Pipp and several other regulars that day to shake up a slumping lineup. Either story may be true. Gehrig did start at first in place of Pipp, but it was the second day of his streak, June 2nd.
Interestingly, the guy Gehrig pinch hit for on June 1st to start his streak, Paul Wanninger, several years earlier had replaced former consecutive game record holder Everett Scott in the Yankee lineup.
Gehrig’s consecutive game streak ended sadly in 1939. He was forced out of the lineup by a rare disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), now more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. His seemingly unbreakable record would stand for 56 years. It was broken by Cal Ripken of the Baltimore Orioles in 1995.