Iron Man Cal Ripken, Jr. Entered The Record Books 18 Years Ago

Living in Washington, D.C. during the Cal Ripken, Jr. era there was nothing better than seeing how young fans truly adored him.  There was nothing like it in baseball at that time or likely even now.

On a September night in 1995, all of us adored Ripken as he broke the unbreakable record – Lou Gehrig’s record for consecutive games.  I bet Gehrig himself would have been pleased by the character of the man who broke his incredible record.

From Wikipedia:

Both President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore were at the game; Clinton was with the commentators on ESPN for the Orioles’ half of the fourth inning and called Ripken’s fourth inning home run. When the game became official after the Angels’ half of the fifth inning, the numerical banners that displayed Ripken’s streak on the wall of the B&O Warehouse outside the stadium’s right field wall changed from 2130 to 2131.

The crowd in the stands, the opposing players and all four umpires gave Ripken a standing ovation lasting more than 22 minutes, one of the longest standing ovations for any athlete; ESPN did not go to a commercial break during the entire ovation. During the ovation, Ripken did a lap around the entire Camden Yards warning track to shake hands and give high-fives to the fans.

“Tonight I stand here, overwhelmed, as my name is linked with the great and courageous Lou Gehrig. I’m truly humbled to have our names spoken in the same breath. This year has been unbelievable. I’ve been cheered in ballparks all over the country. People not only showed me their kindness, but more importantly, they demonstrated their love of the game of baseball. I give my thanks to baseball fans everywhere. Tonight, I want to make sure you know how I feel. As I grew up here, I not only had dreams of being a big league ballplayer, but also of being a Baltimore Oriole. For all of your support over the years, I want to thank you, the fans of Baltimore, from the bottom of my heart. This is the greatest place to play.”

“Bobby Bonilla and Rafael Palmeiro pushed me out of the dugout and said, ‘Hey, if you don’t do a lap around this thing, we’ll never get the game started.’ I thought it was a ridiculous sort of thing … but as I started to do it, the celebration of 50,000 started to be very one-on-one and very personal. I started seeing people I knew … Those were the people that had been around the ballpark all those years, and it was really a wonderful human experience.

Year Age G H HR RBI BA Awards
1981 20 23 5 0 0 .128
1982 21 160 158 28 93 .264 MVP-30,RoY-1
1983 ★ 22 162 211 27 102 .318 AS,MVP-1,SS
1984 ★ 23 162 195 27 86 .304 AS,MVP-27,SS
1985 ★ 24 161 181 26 110 .282 AS,MVP-17,SS
1986 ★ 25 162 177 25 81 .282 AS,SS
1987 ★ 26 162 157 27 98 .252 AS
1988 ★ 27 161 152 23 81 .264 AS
1989 ★ 28 162 166 21 93 .257 AS,MVP-3,SS
1990 ★ 29 161 150 21 84 .250 AS,MVP-24
1991 ★ 30 162 210 34 114 .323 AS,MVP-1,GG,SS
1992 ★ 31 162 160 14 72 .251 AS,GG
1993 ★ 32 162 165 24 90 .257 AS,MVP-19,SS
1994 ★ 33 112 140 13 75 .315 AS,MVP-12,SS
1995 ★ 34 144 144 17 88 .262 AS,MVP-19
1996 ★ 35 163 178 26 102 .278 AS
1997 ★ 36 162 166 17 84 .270 AS
1998 ★ 37 161 163 14 61 .271 AS
1999 ★ 38 86 113 18 57 .340 AS
2000 ★ 39 83 79 15 56 .256 AS
2001 ★ 40 128 114 14 68 .239 AS
21 Yrs 3001 3184 431 1695 .276
162 Game Avg. 162 172 23 91 .276
G H HR RBI BA Awards
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/6/2015.
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One thought on “Iron Man Cal Ripken, Jr. Entered The Record Books 18 Years Ago

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