Cal Ripken's 2131 night- A Record That Saved Baseball

Lawrence BarrecaAnalyst IJune 13, 2008

Many things intrigue players and fans about the game of baseball they enjoy so much. One of these things is a record. A record in sports is defined as the known history of performance, activities, or achievement.

Many athletes say that records are "things that are made to be broken". However, one record in sports stands the test of time. A record so laborious that men in this day-in-age have a hard time imaging it.

A man by the name of Lou Gehrig set a record for the most consecutive games played in Major League Baseball at 2,130 games. Like many athletes say, records are made to be broken. This record was indeed broken. Broken on a magical night in the confines of Oriole Park in Camden Yards. 

The light shined down on the stadium as the night edged into Baltimore on Sept. 6, 1995. A sea of orange and black crowded the seats as the players swarmed onto the field.

As Cal Ripken Jr. stepped onto the turf, the crowd went ablaze. As the sun settled down on the horizon, the fans rose up in their seats to congratulate their own hometown hero. Cal Ripken Jr. had just done what many believed could not be accomplished.

Finally, the last number of "2131" was released from the warehouse seen in the twilight of right field and a new record was set. This record, many have said, can and will never be broken. Cal Ripken Jr.'s consecutive games streak may be one of the hardest to grasp in all of sports.

Just imagine playing everyday for 2,632 straight games (that's the new record). That is tiring enough. In order to accomplish this task, you must do everything right. Avoiding injuries, always being prepared, and always going out with your heart in the game.

It's something that each and every one of us should stop and think about, because it's pretty extraordinary to say the least.

As a 15-year-old sports writer, I was not able to fully grasp the night back when I was just about to turn three. Now I look back at not only how it helped the Baltimore area, but also how it helped Major League Baseball as a whole.

For that night would live in the glory of the game and would never be forgotten by any baseball fan in our modern day society.

Back in 1994, the MLB was going through a tough stretch. A 232-day strike, which lasted from August 12, 1994 to April 2, 1995. This strike led to the cancellation of 931-948 games overall, including the postseason and World Series.

The Players Union continued to this until its final days, ruining the baseball world for a period of time. Because of this, attendance went down dramatically in stadiums throughout the nation (this would eventually lead to the Expos leaving Montreal).

However, during Cal's consecutive games streak, Camden Yards began to see more faces come out to the ballpark. His streak attracted attention throughout the baseball world and Ripken would soon recognize it. 

He stated, "The streak has become my identity; it's who I've become."  

From then on baseball slowly began to change. Some even go on to say that the streak was one of the things that saved baseball. Ripken's streak was not only one for himself, it was one for the city of Baltimore.

It was one for baseball.


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