Former Ravens linebacker, O.J. Brigance, who lives with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, pays tribute to Gehrig on the 77th anniversary of Gehrig's famous farewell speech, by participating in the first pitch ceremonies of a minor league baseball team.
On July 4th, Brigance joined Orioles class A affiliate, the Aberdeen IronBirds, to honor the legendary Yankees first baseman. His wife, Chanda Brigance, threw out the first pitch.
And as they honor Gehrig, the Brigance's plan to use this as an opportunity to raise awareness for ALS in the present.
"Lou Gehrig's words still echo loudly the courage, humility and tenacity that he displayed on the baseball field, as well as in his fight against ALS," Brigance said. "His ability to stand unflappable in the face of his toughest opponent ever serves as an inspiration to me, and I am sure to many others in the ALS community. I, too, am one of the most blessed men on the earth."
O.J. and Chanda Brigance started a foundation in 2008 entitled, "Brigance Brigade" to raise awareness for ALS. Their website writes that the mission of the Brigance Brigade, "Is to equip, encourage, and empower people living with ALS (PALS) to live life through the provision of much-needed equipment, resource guidance and support services as well as funding various ALS research initiatives." For more information about the Brigance Brigade, visit their website here.
Brigance is a member of the Ravens Super Bowl winning team in 2000, and he still is constantly found around the organization today. He works in the front office as the Senior Advisor to Player Development.
He also is in the locker room as an inspirational figure for the team. O.J. made the trip with the Ravens to New Orleans for the Super Bowl, and was on the sidelines during the game, and remained on the field for the celebration following the Ravens victory.
His fight with ALS has been, and will continue to be an inspiration for the Ravens, their fans, and the world as he continues to live his life to the fullest.