Saturday, September 6, 2014

Cal Ripken Jr Becomes MLB's Iron Man September 6, 1995

On this day in Baseball History September 6, 1995: In front of a sold out crowd at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, MD, Cal Ripken plays in his 2,131st consecutive game breaking Lou Gehrig's Major League Iron Man record of 2,130 games that stood since 1939. Here is footage of Cal Ripken's record breaking moment (19-years later it still gives me goosebumps):

Many baseball sources point to this event as being the catalyst for the healing of the game after the 1994 strike cancelled that season and the 1994 World Series.

Ripken would break the world record for consecutive games played by breaking Sachio Kinagusa's record of 2,215 consecutive games played on June 14, 1996 at Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City (Kinagusa passed Gehrig on June 13, 1987). The Royals honored not only Ripken but Kinagusa at that game when Ripken broke Kinagusa's record. Kinagusa played for the Hiroshima Carp of the Nippon Professional Baseball League (NPB).

Cal Ripken and Sachio Kinugasa at Kauffman Stadium in 1996.
Ripken would play in 2,632 consecutive games before sitting out a September game at Yankee Stadium in 1998. Ripken would retire in 2001 and would be inducted to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007 with 98.5% of the vote (537/545 ballots).

In this age of athletes being bigger, faster stronger will we ever see anyone come close to Cal Ripken's 2,632 consecutive games played record? I personally can't see it happening. Generally players take more time off due to injures and managerial decision then in days before. Players today are an investment by the teams and many times they don't want to risk their investment by having players "play through" injuries. So we'll have to wait and see if we ever see a streak in the range of Gehrig, Kinagusa and Ripken's.

Until Then Keep Playing Ball,
Baseball Sisco

For Further Reading:
- Click here to access Cal Ripken Jr's career statistics from Baseball
- Click here to access the article 15 Years Ago: Cal Ripken Jr. Passes Lou Gehrig by Dean Hybl from the Baltimore Sports Then and Now website dated September 05, 2010
- Click here to access the article Beyond Gehrig, Japanese ironman in world of his own by John Eisenberg from the Baltimore Sun website dated July 23, 1995
- Click here to access Sachio Kinugasa's career NPB statistics from Baseball
- Click here to access the article Man Ripken passed was unlikely hero Kinugasa's U.S. blood made hime target in Japan by Masaru Ikei and John B Holway from the Baltimore Sun website dated June 23, 1996
- Click here to access the article Cal Ripken Jr. expects good things from Royals in second half of season by Pete Grathoff on the Kansas City Star website dated July 18, 2014