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Saturday, July 4, 2020

ON THIS DAY: Cal Ripken Jr. surpasses Lou Gehrig as MLB’s new ironman

Orioles 1995 LogoThere are just some MLB records that have their own place in history, a place that people could possibly threaten to dethrone, but will never fully conquer the feat.

Cal Ripken Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles stamped himself into the record books, 0n this day, back in 1995 when be surpassed New York Yankees legend Lou Gehrig and played in his 2,131st consecutive game. It was a record that Gehrig held for 56 years before Ripken Jr. would ultimately dethrone the legendary first baseman of the record he’d set.

To put it in perspective, playing 2,131 consecutive games is the equivalent to playing nearly 13 full major league seasons, not including the playoffs. It’s really remarkable when you think about it for a position player, or any big league player for that matter, to play that many consecutive games in a row.

The scene at Oriole Park at Camden Yards was something special. There was a banner in right field that hung on the B&O Warehouse, a warehouse positioned right outside the ballpark that read ‘2130’. After the visiting California Angels completed their half of the fifth inning, the numbers on the warehouse changed to ‘2131’. The crowd stood on their feet for over 20 minutes out of respect for their hometown shortstop. Ripken Jr. ended up doing a lap around Camden Yards, paying his respects to the fans along the way.

For a game to completly stop in between innings to honor a player is truly something special.

After the game with the Angels was over, Ripken Jr. took time to speak to the fans in attendance and showed real class expressing just how special the moment was to him.

The record would transition one more game and Ripken Jr.’s consecutive games played streak ended at 2,132 games and still holds to this day.

In 21 big league seasons, he finished his career with a .276 batting average, 3,184 hits, 431 home runs and 1,695 RBI. Ripken Jr. was also a 19-time All-Star, eight-time Silver Slugger, two-time Gold Glove recipient, two-time AL MVP and also won the 1982 AL Rookie of the Year. So many great accolades spotlight his pro baseball career, and rightfully so.

Joe MiMaggio‘s 56-game hitting streak, Nolan Ryan‘s seven career no-hitters, Cy Young‘s 511 career wins and Ricky Henderson‘s 1,406 career stolen bases are just a few more records along with Ripken Jr’s 2,132 consecutive games played that have their own special place in baseball history.

These are records that you could really tab as seemingly ‘unbreakable’ in Major League Baseball.

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Daniel Willim
Born & raised in the mitten. Grew up in Traverse City, but moved down to the Redford, MI area after my Dad tragically passed away in 1999 because that's where he was being buried and we wanted to be down there with him. I'm an avid Detroit sports fan, growing up in the state of Michigan and having such a solid block of teams to root for is something special. Iv'e always liked discussing Detroit sports whether it be about the past, the present or even what the future holds for Michigan sports teams. It's a long time coming as I am very excited to be apart of the DSN team and be able to construct interesting features to be posted for Detroit Sports fans to read/discuss about.

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