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JULY 1, 1982: SWITCH TO SHORTSTOP DETROIT --

October 10, 2001

JULY 1, 1982: SWITCH TO SHORTSTOP

DETROIT -- If the experiment ever goes beyond the preliminary stage, it will create some waves within the Oriole organization, but it is Manager Earl Weaver's belief that the time has come to find out if Cal Ripken can play shortstop. Last night, for the first time this year, Ripken started at shortstop as the Orioles lost for the third straight time. ... "If we wait much longer, then we'll never find out how good he might be as a shortstop," Weaver said.

1982: THE STREAK BEGINS

Two dates from Ripken's rookie year defined the course of his career. On May 30, The Streak began. On July 1, he was moved from third base to shortstop. He responded by winning the American League Rookie of the Year award and helping the Orioles remain in contention for the AL East crown until the final game. His first Opening Day was memorable, with three hits, including a home run. The season included 44 consecutive errorless games at third base, his first grand slam and a five-hit game.

OCT. 16, 1983: ON TOP OF THE WORLD

After four years of second-best, of near-misses, of watching other teams celebrate on their turf, the Baltimore Orioles sit atop the baseball world today, conquerers of the Philadelphia Phillies in five games. ... Forget about the three consecutive second-place finishes. Forget about the loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on the last day of the 1982 season. Say goodbye to the memory of the 1979 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Remember, instead, a remarkable year.

1983: MOST VALUABLE

In a magical year, Ripken emerged as the first player to win the American League's Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards in consecutive seasons. He also became the first Oriole to play every inning of every game. He topped it all off by catching a line drive from Philadelphia's Garry Maddox to end the World Series and secure the only championship of his career. Ripken led major-league shortstops in assists (534), and league shortstops in total chances (831) and double plays (113).

MAY 6, 1984: RIDING THE CYCLE

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Cal Ripken had been in a small slump, which is the only kind he has known, which is why he has already done things that would paint the stained glass of Cooperstown, which is why on a team that has had its Robinsons and Palmers and Murrays he may be the greatest ever. ... This will be remembered as the afternoon 23-year-old Cal Ripken added another incredible agate line to his incredible career. He had his sixth four-hit game and became the second Oriole ever to hit for the cycle.

1984: A RISING STAR

The Orioles weren't in a pennant race, but Ripken added to his growing legacy. With a new four-year contract that paid him about $4 million, Ripken again played every inning of every game, hitting for average and power. He set the American League record for assists with 583, and led the club by hitting .311 with runners in scoring position. The season marked his first start in an All-Star Game. Ripken also joined childhood idol Brooks Robinson as the only Orioles to hit for the cycle.

APRIL 10, 1985: INJURY ENDANGERS STREAK

For a few fleeting moments yesterday, the Orioles' world stood still while their million-dollar shortstop hobbled in pain. The last thing the team needs is to lose Cal Ripken to a major injury. ... But there was Ripken stumbling across second base on an attempted pickoff play in the top of the third inning, falling and then rising to test his wounded left ankle.

1985: STEADY AMID CHANGES

With veterans Jim Palmer, Al Bumbry and Ken Singleton gone, Ripken took on a greater load and delivered, placing first or second on the team in 12 offensive categories. His consecutive-games streak reached 603 and his consecutive-innings streak hit 5,457, but both were endangered when Ripken sprained his left ankle in an April 10 game. The Orioles played an exhibition game the next day, which Ripken spent on crutches. He remained in the lineup for the next official game.

JULY 10, 1986: LEADING THE POLLS

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It will be his fourth consecutive All-Star appearance, third straight as a starter. This year, baseball fans cast more votes for him than any other player in the American League. And Cal Ripken doesn't know what to think. ... "I have to ask myself, 'Do I belong here?' And I can't say yes to that all the time."

1986: O'S TAKE TUMBLE

After 19 consecutive winning years, the Orioles collapsed in the season's final two months and finished last in the American League East, 22 games out of first place. Ripken continued to exhibit the traits of a leader, pacing all shortstops in home runs, RBIs, runs and slugging percentage for the fourth straight season. He remained dependable in the clutch, tying for the AL lead with 15 game-winning RBIs. He became the first player other than Eddie Murray to lead the team in home runs in the 1980s.

SEPT. 14, 1987: TAKING A SEAT

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