BYU Law Prof with ALS Gets Baseball to Raise Money for Cure
A law professor with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, has spurred Major League Baseball to raise money for research in an event on July 4, the 70th anniversary of the baseball great’s farewell speech.
Michael Goldsmith, 57, is a law professor at Brigham Young University and a former mob prosecutor. He learned he had the progressively paralyzing disorder in September 2006, the New York Times reports. In November 2008, he wrote a column for Newsweek urging baseball to make July 4 ALS-Lou Gehrig Day in an effort to raise money for a cure.
Goldsmith wrote that his decline has been steady but slow. “After holding endless pity parties for myself, I decided—not entirely successfully—to transform myself from victim to ALS funding advocate,” he said in the Newsweek article. But he didn’t come up with the baseball fundraising idea until he attended a Baltimore Orioles fantasy baseball camp.
Gehrig’s speech will be read at the seventh-inning stretch at all major league ballparks where games are being played on July 4, according to MLB.com. Thirty ball clubs will auction items worn by players to raise money, and MLB will also make a contribution, the Times says.