20 years ago today, Cal Ripken Jr. ended his “iron man” streak, one of the most amazing feats in sports history, after playing in a record 2,632 consecutive baseball games over 16 seasons for the Baltimore Orioles. The televised game still ranks as one of the most watched baseball events, with Cal’s kids throwing out the first pitch. In the fifth inning, as it was tallied a full game, the crowds in the stands, the opposing players, and the four umpires gave Ripken a standing ovation lasting more than 22 minutes, one of the longest ovations for any athlete. ESPN never went to a commercial break as Ripken walked around the edge of the entire field to shake hands and give high-fives to fans… WATCH a video (1998)
(Watch the moment here.) Later he said, “Tonight I stand here, overwhelmed, as my name is linked with the great and courageous Lou Gehrig.”
Cal, whose talents and personality are praised in the video below, authored a motivational book, Get in the Game: 8 Elements of Perseverance That Make the Difference—and a series of young adult fiction books about playing baseball. (Featured photo by Rdikeman, CC)
MORE Good News on this Day:
- Ferdinand Magellan set sail with about 270 men to circumnavigate the globe (1519)
- Led Zeppelin (going by the name, The Yardbirds) started recording their debut album in London, and took only 36 hours of studio time, with most of the tracks being recorded ‘live’ in the studio with very few overdubs (1968)
- The Russian space probe Luna 16 landed on the Moon, the first time an unmanned probe was used to take photos and bring objects back to Earth from space (1970)
- Billie Jean King beat 55-year-old Bobby Riggs in straight sets in a battle-of-the-sexes tennis match watched by a worldwide television audience of 50 million people in 37 countries (1973)
- The first wave of Southeast Asian “boat people” arrived in San Francisco under a U.S. resettlement program (1977)
- A multinational UN peacekeeping force landed in East Timor to restore order and help establish a new peaceful government; a society was successfully rebuilt (1999)
- Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the Pentagon’s law against openly gay service members, officially ended (2011)
Previewing all genres of film, including documentaries, from around the world, the annual event is now held at the Palais des Festivals, expressly constructed for the occasion. “The Lost Weekend” directed by Billy Wilder, which portrayed alcohol addiction, won a Grand Prize —and its star Ray Milland, won Best Actor. Other American films nominated were Gaslight by George Cukor and Notorious by Alfred Hitchcock.
And Happy 84th Birthday to Sophia Loren, the Italian actress who won an Academy Award for her lead in the 1962 film Two Women.
With that statue in hand, she became the first actress to win an Oscar for a non-English-speaking performance. WATCH an interview from 2016…
NOTE: The video below may look unplayable, but just click to start the clip.