Angels honor Gehrig on Fourth of July

Angels honor Gehrig on Fourth of July

ANAHEIM -- Putting their own spin on Fourth of July festivities, the Angels, with the support of Major League Baseball, will conduct a special on-field ceremony to commemorate Lou Gehrig's Yankee Stadium farewell speech and show support to find a cure for ALS.

Manny Ramirez

In an effort to raise awareness and financial support for organizations leading the fight against ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, the Angels will have American Idol Finalist Michael Johns sing the national anthem before Saturday's game against the Baltimore Orioles.

Johns, an avid supporter of ALS research, has been involved in certain organizations to help the fight against ALS.

In December 2008, he released the song "Another Christmas," with 50 percent of the proceeds going towards ALS research.

"Michael Johns embodies the spirit of this day," Angels entertainment and production manager Pete Bull said. "He loves America and the opportunity he had with American Idol was able to show what we can provide as a nation. He truly loves our country."

70 years ago Saturday, Gehrig stood in front of thousands at Yankee Stadium, delivering an impassioned speech that became a part of not only baseball history, but American history.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia finds the tribute to Gehrig on this Fourth of July fitting.

"What Lou Gehrig is about is a model for players to realize and the dedication he had for this game, how hard he played," Scioscia said. "The mantra of playing every day is a great lesson for kids.

"To have a tribute for the person Lou Gehrig was, his presence, I think that says a lot and is the least we can do for someone who did so much for baseball."

Quinn Roberts is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.