The Yankees’ Lou Gehrig was helped off the field after being struck in the head by a fastball from pitcher Ray White of the Norfolk Tars in a June 1934 exhibition game. The ball caught Gehrig above the right eye, knocking him unconscious.
THE NEW YORK TIMES
August 17, 2010
Study Says Brain Trauma Can Mimic A.L.S.
By ALAN SCHWARZ
In the 71 years since the Yankees slugger Lou Gehrig declared himself “the luckiest man on the face of the earth,” despite dying from a disease that would soon bear his name, he has stood as America’s leading icon of athletic valor struck down by random, inexplicable fate.
A peer-reviewed paper to be published Wednesday in a leading journal of neuropathology, however, suggests that the demise of athletes like Gehrig and soldiers given a diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, might have been catalyzed by injuries only now becoming understood: concussions and other brain trauma.