May 2, 1939 the streak came to an end. Eighty years ago today New York Yankee great Lou Gehrig took himself out of the lineup and his consecutive game streak ended at 2,130. Cal Ripkin later broke the consecutive games played record.

Gehrig started his streak in 1925 when Yankee first baseman Wally Pipp complained of a headache and Gehrig took his spot. He didn't give it up till the streak ended in 1939. A number of folks don't realize that Pipp was no slouch. He led the league in home runs twice and topped 100 runs batted in three times.

Gehrig took himself out of the lineup due to unexplained things happening to his body. He was tired and awkward. His wife contacted the Mayo Clinic in Rochester and it was after a series of tests at Mayo that it was confirmed that he had ALS which later became known as Lou Gehrig's disease. He received this discouraging news on his birthday.

On a sidelight, Gehrig appeared in one movie, a western called Rawhide. In the movie he gets into a confrontation with some ruffians in a saloon. Lou doesn't carry a gun but he does know how to throw. He fights off the hoodlums by throwing billiard balls at them. Kind of funny.

Here's a link to the movie Rawhide