Streak Scene 2,131: Ripken Passes Gehrig

September 07, 1995

Catch as catch can

The last two nights, Orioles players were chasing after the special-made game balls, with the orange seams and the No. 8 emblazoned on an open face, like Little Leaguers.

None had been set aside for the Orioles' players, and, therefore, they were left to their own devices. Like petty theft. Last night's starter, Mike Mussina, saved a ball from the first inning, and after the Angels' Rex Hudler struck out to end the second inning, catcher Chris Hoiles rolled the ball back toward the mound -- where third baseman Jeff Huson reached down and gloved it while running into the dugout.

Tuesday night, first-base coach Al Bumbry scooped up a foul roller and stuffed it in his back pocket, intending to keep it for his young son. But the fans nearby booed, the first boos, Bumbry said later, that he had ever heard in his days with the Orioles. Bumbry turned and flipped the souvenir into the stands.

Prized possessions

Hudler also left last night's game with a ball -- and another memento that almost left him speechless.

Hudler, who was with the Orioles in 1986 for a brief stint as Ripken's double-play partner, caught a line drive by Ripken with two outs and the bases loaded in the fifth. After making the catch, he headed for the dugout, shaking the glove over his head and taking the ball with him.

After the game, Hudler discovered that Ripken had sent a gift to the visitor's clubhouse.

Ripken had promised Hudler an autographed bat a couple of years ago, and it arrived unexpectedly on the biggest night of Ripken's life. Hudler was fighting back tears as he showed off his prize, which came with the following inscription: To Rex, it's been a long time since we broke in (you going ahead of me in the draft) until this date. Right now, I'm feeling like when you strike out with the bases loaded: "visibly shaken." Cal Ripken, Sept. 6, 1995.

"I will never come down from this," Hudler said. "This is such an honor. I'm visibly shaken. I'm jacked. This brought me out of a coma."

Later, Hudler high-fived and hugged Bruce Hornsby, who helped perform the national anthem, as the pianist passed through the clubhouse.

Yankee Stadium ovation

Minutes after Ripken surpassed Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive games, fans at Yankee Stadium responded with a standing ovation following an announcement that the late Yankees' first baseman's record had fallen.

At the end of the sixth inning, a video of Ripken jogging off the field at Camden Yards was flashed on the scoreboard at Yankee Stadium. Superimposed on the video in orange letters were the words: "It's official."

The majority of the 15,426 fans at the Yankees-Seattle Mariners game rose from their seats applauding.

Public address announcer Bob Sheppard then said:

"Tonight in Baltimore, Cal Ripken has officially broken Lou Gehrig's record of 2,130 consecutive games. The Yankees congratulate and salute Cal Ripken for passing a record many felt would stand forever."

The view at other parks

The Texas Rangers' home game last night against the Chicago White Sox was delayed several minutes in the middle of the fifth inning while the JumboTron screen in right field showed a live feed from Camden Yards. The players on the field watched the telecast and joined in the applause.

Former Orioles manager Johnny Oates, now with the Rangers, said he was glad to see Cal Ripken Sr., his baseball mentor, attending the game. Ripken had not been to Camden Yards since he was fired by Oates as one of his coaches after the 1992 season.

"Anybody who has been around me all year knows what his dad has meant to me and my career," Oates said. "That made my night to see him there and smiling."

In Milwaukee, when the scoreboard showed that Ripken had set the record, the Brewers came out of the dugout to join the County Stadium crowd of 10,042 in a standing ovation.

The same thing happened at Fenway Park, where fans stood and applauded as news of Ripken's feat flashed on the scoreboard.

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