Streak Beat 2,131: Ripken Passes Gehrig

September 07, 1995

What writers around the country are saying about Cal Ripken's streak:

'Outpouring of emotions'

It's a rare occasion in sports when the sight of a baseball player merely trotting to his position can evoke an outpouring of emotion normally reserved for the sweetest moments in life.

But it happened last night in a baseball shrine called Camden Yards. It happened when eight other members of the Baltimore Orioles stood aside at 7:36 p.m. and let the great Cal Ripken jog out to shortstop all alone -- to play one more baseball game. . . .

And if there is one thing Cal Ripken has been proving these last 14 years, it is that he knows the way out there like no one else who ever lived.

Jayson Stark

Philadelphia Inquirer

'Luckiest man'

Ripken has trotted out and played this physically demanding position for 14 years. Now you see players -- depicting a petty bunch -- standing to applaud. You see them scramble after foul balls to take home.

If Lou Gehrig was respected this way by his peers, then he had every reason to feel like the luckiest man on the face of the earth.

Harvey Araton

New York Times

'The Iron Bird'

For one night at least, the Year of the Strike, which last winter had allowed its sorry stain to spread to the White House, yielded to the Year of the Streak.

There is not yet labor peace in our time . . . but there may be hope, after all, for the not-quite-as-grand old game on the night when Cal Ripken, the Iron Bird, eclipsed Lou Gehrig, the Iron Horse. . . .

Ripken would rather play shortstop than savior, but if baseball had conducted an open casting call for the role, it could not have done better than Cal.

Gordon Edes

Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

'Baseball continued on'

The end of summer, a chilling breeze swirled through Yankee Stadium and danced across the infield and out into the area by the left-field bleachers, the area they call Monument Park. . . .

It is a place for heroes, for memories, and for ghosts. One of those ghosts actually moved last night. Sometime after nine o'clock, unnoticed by fans watching the Yankees play the Mariners, the skies opened with a quiet thunder, and Lou Gehrig, the great Lou Gehrig, the Captain, the Iron Horse, maybe the finest first basemen in the history of the game, took one step backward. And in so doing, he was suddenly out of sync with the words on his plaque, as if someone had tilted his tombstone."

Mitch Albom

Detroit Free Press

'He played it'

He did No. 2,131 the way he does them all.

He played it. . . .

Ripken is loved because The Streak is perceived as a fanfare for the common man, a victory of pedestrian persistence, not physical talent. It hardly matters that nothing could be farther from the truth.

Mark Whicker

Orange County (Calif.) Register

'With class and grace'

Cal Ripken broke Lou Gehrig's consecutive-games record last night. He did it without looking fatigued or harried. He did it with class and grace.

John Lowe

Detroit Free Press

'No reason to stop'

The record that was never going to be broken was broken at 9:19 last night, with Cal Ripken walking from his shortstop position, to the dugout, to immortality.

The new number on the warehouse wall behind the right-field fence at Camden Yards is now the same as the number in the record book, 2,131, most consecutive games played. No kidding, no asterisk, no reason to stop.

Vic Ziegel

New York Daily News

'Indomitable shortstop'

Woody Allen once observed that "80 percent of success is showing up." Cal Ripken should know. Just by showing up for work at the ballpark yesterday evening, the Orioles' indomitable shortstop made baseball history. . . .

Ripken deserves a place in the baseball pantheon, and a day off, if he is willing to take it.

#New York Times editorial

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