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Sport Opinion: Cal Ripken Jr. to share his memories of historic 2,131 game, and just when we need a boost

19:41  06 april  2020
19:41  06 april  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

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Calvin Edwin Ripken Jr . (born August 24, 1960), nicknamed "The Iron Man", is an American former baseball shortstop and third baseman who played 21 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB)

Ripken played in his 2 , 131 st consecutive game -- breaking Lou Gehrig's 56-year-old record that once seemed I had a need to celebrate this with the people who are closest to me -- my family. Ripken officially became a baseball legend, and he did so with his usual style. Just as he'd done Tuesday in

It was the night the baseball world stood still.

Baseball: Rear view of former Baltimore Orioles mgr. Earl Weaver, on field talking Cal Ripken Jr. #8, Ripken's father Cal Sr. & his mother during celebration after Ripken broke Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive games played at 2131.  (Photo by Scott Wachter/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images) © Scott Wachter Baseball: Rear view of former Baltimore Orioles mgr. Earl Weaver, on field talking Cal Ripken Jr. #8, Ripken's father Cal Sr. & his mother during celebration after Ripken broke Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive games played at 2131. (Photo by Scott Wachter/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

Now, 25 years after Cal Ripken Jr. helped restore our love for baseball, he’s back again, reminding us that as we endure these tough times, hope awaits, and we can celebrate together again, just like the night of Sept. 6, 1995.

“This is such a tough time for all of us,’’ Ripken tells USA TODAY Sports, “but even with all of the challenges, I’m pretty optimistic. I look at the innovation. Distilleries have turned into hand-sanitizing plants. Automakers have turned into ventilator makers. People have pushed their ideas towards resources to help.

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Cal Ripken embodies all that the Orioles stand for, all that Baltimore stands for and, really, all that this We are thrilled to play beside him today, and for enabling us to share this wonderful moment in time." During the streak Cal Ripken , Jr . committed two -hundred errors at shortstop while opposing

Carol interviews baseball legend Cal Ripken . The two discuss Cal 's biggest baseball regret, gives his take on the 2019 World Series and the Nationals, and tells us what it On this day, 24 years ago, Cal played his 2 , 131 st consecutive game . In his recent book, Just Show Up, Cal talks about the streak

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“Everyone is working together.’’

It has been 159 days since we last had a real Major League Baseball game, and it will be at least a few months longer, perhaps even until 2021, with the coronavirus pandemic shutting down the sports world.

But Tuesday night on ESPN, Ripken will try reviving those feelings, emotions and romanticism that made us fall in love with baseball, playing in his 2,131st consecutive game, eclipsing legendary Lou Gehrig.

“It was a night bigger than Cal and Lou Gehrig,’’ said Hall of Fame broadcaster Chris Berman, who worked the game for ESPN. “It was a sacred night for not only baseball, for not only sports, but it was a night for America."

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When Cal Ripken Jr . began his career with the Baltimore Orioles at age twenty-one When Ripken beat that record by 502 games , the baseball world was floored. Few feats in sports history have generated more acclaim. Those passages were just as informative for a reader as those on Ripken .

Cal Ripken takes a lap after the fifth inning of his 2 , 131 st consecutive game played on Sept. 6, 1995. (National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum). But for Ripken , he was just doing his job. “I never really thought about the streak,” Ripken said to MLB.

Ripken and Berman will celebrate the game with the ESPN launch of BBTN Live (Baseball Tonight Live), a weekly digital pregame show that will air classic baseball games called MLB Encore Tuesdays. Ripken and Berman will discuss their memories before the game, and Ripken again in the fifth inning on ESPN’s social media platforms. The game will re-air on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET.

Ripken, in turn, will enter the Twitter universe for the first time as @CalRipkenJr. He’ll use the platform to announce that the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation will be launching the Strike Out Hunger campaign during this pandemic, contributing $250,000 with their partners.

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“This reminds you in a way of 9/11,’’ Ripken says, of terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2011, just three weeks before the end of his career. “It shook everyone to the core. You’re sitting there in disbelief. You want to do everything you can to help in any way you can.

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Calvin Edwin Ripken Jr . Inducted to the Hall of Fame in: 2007 Primary team: Baltimore Orioles AL Primary He’ll be remembered more for his home runs, RBI and games played, but his defense was Scoresheet from Cal Ripken 's 2 , 131 game - breaking Lou Gehrig's consecutive games played

Major League Baseball's "Iron Man" Cal Ripken , Jr ., will be online Tuesday, Aug. 9 at 1:30 p.m. ET, to chat about his recently announced trip to Japan to spend time with children impacted by the tsunami and earthquake earlier this year as well as his storied baseball career. Have a question?

“I think if baseball can come back, like we did back then, it can provide some healing, a distraction, and let people focus on some of the good things on life.’’

This is the first time in 25 years that Major League Baseball missed its traditional opening day, but that was only because of a labor dispute between the players and owners. Ripken’s streak was two days away from being over when the owners and players ended the 232-day strike and the threat of using replacement players.

“I remember Mark Belanger (with the players association) told me he thought it would be OK if I played with the replacement players because of my streak,’’ Ripken said. “I wasn’t going to do that. I never thought about it. There was a clear sense of responsibility. If the streak was to end for that reason, that was still the right thing to do.’’

President Bill Clinton was in attendance for the record-breaking game. New York Yankees great Joe DiMaggio, a teammate of Gehrig’s, was there. So was Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, his former manager. And former Orioles Hall of Fame great Earl Weaver. And, of course, his family, was among the sellout crowd of 46,272.

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The Cal Ripken Sr. foundation is offering a chance to win a tin autographed by baseball’s Iron Man himself on Twenty years after he broke Lou Gehrig's streak of 2 , 131 consecutive games played, the Orioles honored Hall Cal Ripken Jr . made it his mission to use the game of baseball as a social tool.

Cal Jr . most notably broke Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive games played and had over 3,000 hits in his Hall of Fame career.[44] Billy, while Ripken supported J. Robert Hooper back when [ when ?] Hooper was running for Harford County Council by letting Hooper use his name as honorary

The game became official at the end of the fifth inning. The crowd stood on its feet, and roared, and refused to stop.

He saw his father, Cal Ripken Sr. in a suite, pumped his right fist, gestured with his left hand, and started to cry. He walked over to the stands to see his family, took off his jersey and handed it to them, revealing he was wearing the black T-shirt with white lettering they presented to him that morning: 2,130+ Hugs and Kisses for Daddy.

“I haven’t watched it much in its entirety,’’ Ripken says, “because I didn’t want to change my perspective of it. The most powerful part was that ovation, and that lap. You get reminded of so many memories along that trip. The people that I recognized by face, some by name, and the celebration just seemed to be so intimate. You could relate to the crowd individually.

“And seeing my dad in the sky box, catching his eye, you could feel a million emotions between us.’’

Berman and ESPN color commentator Buck Martinez never uttered a word during the entire celebration, letting the pictures capture the scene.

“We get paid to speak, and we won an Emmy by saying nothing,’’ Berman says. “But we couldn’t have talked if we wanted to.’’

Ripken sat back and reminisced about all of it during an hour-long telephone conversation over the weekend from his Maryland home. The truth about the streak is that it was never about catching Gehrig. Never about reaching historical numbers. It was about pride, simply getting up, getting dressed and going to work every day.

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“People called me selfish at times when I continued to play,’’ Ripken says, “and I laugh. It was never about Gehrig’s record. Never once did I want to be in the lineup to break it. I grew up believing I should come every day to the ballpark ready to play, and if the manager wrote your name in the lineup, you played. I was there to win my day."

Ripken went on to play three more seasons without taking a day off after that night, with the consecutive game streak ending at 2,632 games on Sept. 28, 1998. No one has played even 550 consecutive games since the streak ended. Kansas City Royals infielder Whit Merifield has the longest active streak at 247 games, just ahead of Oakland Athletics shortstop Marcus Semien, who has started 243 consecutive games.

“It’s different now,’’ Ripken says. “The definition of an everyday player is not playing every day. It’s 145 games. Or 150. Everything is so analytic now, managers want to give their guys periodic rest to get the best out of them."

Now, here we are 25 years later, and we’ll be watching Game 2,131 again, celebrating as if it’s the first time we saw the balloons fly into the air, fireworks screaming into the night, the warehouse number changing, and Ripken trotting around the outfield.

Baseball, one day, will be played again. Maybe even this year. If they can squeeze in 81 regular-season games, Ripken says, at least that could be representative of a season.

But for now, all we have are memories, with hopes we can all celebrate together again, just as we did the night of Sept. 6, 1995.

“I hope people get the same feeling 25 years later,’’ Berman says, “a feeling of hope and togetherness. I get emotional just talking about it.

“And for that game to be shown now, with what this nation and world is going through, the timing couldn’t be any better.

“We need this.’’

Follow Nightengale on Twitter: @Bnightengale

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Opinion: Cal Ripken Jr. to share his memories of historic 2,131 game, and just when we need a boost

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