On this day 21 years ago, Cal Ripken Jr. broke Lou Gehrig’s Major League Baseball record when he played in his 2,131st consecutive game. Once considered a near-impossible feat, “the streak,” which continued for 2,632 games, earned him the nickname, Iron Man. Baltimore Orioles fans call his home field, Camden Yards, The House that Cal Built. WATCH the moment…(1995)
The televised game, between the Orioles and the California Angels, still ranks as one of the most watched baseball events, with Cal’s kids throwing out the first pitch. When the game became official in the fifth inning, 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 ovation, while Ripken walked around the edge of the entire field to shake hands and give high-fives to the fans (watch the moment below). Then, he was asked to give a speech.
“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.”
(Top photo of Ripkin in 1993 by Rdikeman, CC)
MORE Good News On this Day:
- The first woman to vote legally in the U.S. marked her ballot in Laramie, Wyoming (1870)
- The first ship to circumnavigate the world, the Victoria, of Ferdinand Magellan’s expedition, returned to Spain (1522))
- Saint Petersburg‘s name was restored to Russia’s second largest city, which had been renamed Leningrad in 1924 (1991)
- Musician Sir Bob Geldof was awarded the freedom of his native Dublin after the City Council voted in favor of giving him the accolade in honor of his campaign against world poverty and alleviating debt in Africa (2005)
- The California Legislature became the first legislative body in the nation to approve same-sex marriages (2005)
- The Turkish president attended an association football match in Armenia after Armenian President Serzh Sarkisyan invited him to become the first Turkish head of state to visit the country since the war (2008)
And, Happy Birthday to Roger Waters (73), singer, bassist, principal lyricist, and co-founder of Pink Floyd.