Ripken's iron-man mark would come at Camden Yards

April 16, 1994|By Tom Keegan | Tom Keegan,Sun Staff Writer

ARLINGTON,TEXAS — ARLINGTON, Texas -- If Cal Ripken maintains his consecutive games streak long enough to break Lou Gehrig's record of 2,130, he will do it at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, according to the American League official in charge of making the schedule.

"We don't know who the opponent will be yet, but of course we will find a way to have the Orioles home for it," said Derek Irwin, the AL's director of finance. "That's what we like to call a must-have."

Informed of that news, Ripken reacted the way he has to most streak-related items, by thinking of the day's game at hand.

"I try not to even think about that," Ripken said. "I'm forced to play the streak one day at a time and I try not to change my approach. If I think about it too much, I'm afraid that could change my approach. That's why I close my mind to it and close my ears to it. I don't want to know too many of the particulars of it."

Ripken's streak stands at 1,906 games. If the Orioles play all 162 games on their schedule this season, their 2,131st game since Ripken last sat will come in the 72nd game of the 1995 season, some time in late June.

The streak began May 30, 1982, the day after Floyd Rayford started in his place in the second game of a doubleheader with the Toronto Blue Jays at Memorial Stadium. Ripken has played in 99.2 percent of the Orioles' innings during the streak.

The past two winters, the Orioles have put individual game tickets on sale the first week of December, the earliest in club history, as part of a Moonlight Madness event. The club has not finalized plans for how it will handle single-game sales for the 1995 season.

The AL schedule for next season needs finishing touches, according to Irwin.

"It's still in the development stages," Irwin said.

Once Irwin finalizes the schedule, he sends it to a committee of owners, which sends it back with any recommended changes. It is submitted by July 1 to the players' association for final approval. The AL is not due to announce the schedule until September.

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