Lou Gehrig, The Iron Man

Since we are inundated with bad news these days, we thought we would take a seventh inning stretch and share with you some good news. Today, Major League Baseball announced their decision to finally honor Lou Gehrig by helping fight the disease that bears his name, A.L.S. (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). They will partner with four organizations including A.L.S. Therapy Development Institute; Project A.L.S.; the A.L.S. Association; and M.D.A.’s Augie’s Quest.

On July 4, 2009, 15 Major League ballparks will raise money and awareness for this disease that has no cure, exactly 70 years after the Hall of Fame first baseman passed away. All 30 teams playing that day will also auction off their uniforms that day to contribute to the fight.

Many people helped convince Major League Baseball to hold this extraordinary event, but the fight was led by Michael Goldsmith, a law professor in Utah, who was diagnosed with this terrible disease in 2006. This effort is a great example of Americans “stimulating” Americans.

Speaking of charitable giving, Arthur C. Brooks recently wrote a piece in the Wall Street Journal that detailed the disparate levels of charity between conservatives and liberals. He noted:

“Over the past several years, studies have consistently shown that people on the political right outperform those on the left when it comes to charity. This pattern appears to have held — increased, even — in 2008.”

This disparity is not tied to income but is rather analyzed as a percentage of income. And during difficult economic times, the percentage of income drops much faster for liberals as opposed to conservatives.  While the government debates spending a trillion dollars on pet projects, it is important to reinforce that people make the right personal decisions when they have more of their own money in their pocket

Yankee Manager Joe McCarthy described Lou Gehrig as a “the finest example of a ballplayer, sportsman, and citizen that baseball has ever known”. While we may all not be the finest ballplayers, we can certainly all strive to be the finest citizens, and honor Lou in that way, every day.