Baseball: Ripken's home run ends at 2,632 games
Known for his commentary on international relations and US politics, Rupert Cornwell also contributes obituaries and occasionally even a column for the sports pages. With The Independent since its launch in 1986, he was the paper's first Moscow correspondent - covering the collapse of the Soviet Union – during which time he won two British Press Awards. Previously a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times and Reuters, he has also been a diplomatic correspondent, leader writer and columnist, and has served as Washington bureau editor. In 1983 he published God's Banker, about Roberto Calvi, the Italian banker found hanging from Blackfriars Bridge.
Tuesday 22 September 1998
One of the most remarkable achievements in any sport came to an end on Sunday evening in Baltimore. After playing 2,632 consecutive games for the Baltimore Orioles, Cal Ripken finally sat one out. Not because he was dropped, not because he was injured, but because he wanted to.
The last game Ripken didn't play for the Orioles was on 29 May, 1982 - when British forces were recapturing the Falklands Islands from Argentina. Since then he has become sport's ultimate iron man, compiling a record that probably will never be beaten.
At the very least, assuming the Major League Baseball schedule stays at 162 games a season, it will survive more than 14 years. The longest current streak now belongs to Albert Belle, of the Chicago White Sox. If he somehow were to keep going, Belle would surpass Ripken in early May 2013. Pre-Ripken the longest streak belonged to Lou Gehrig, the legendary "Iron Horse" of the New York Yankees, who played 2,130 straight games between 1927 and 1939.
Doubtless deliberately, as it was a Yankees star whom he dethroned, it was against the Yankees that Ripken chose to call it quits on Sunday, in Baltimore's last home game of the season.
When it was clear that Ripken would not be coming up to bat, the Yankee players clustered at the top step of the Orioles dug-out to applaud him. As the stadium erupted the 38-year-old third baseman came out and bowed to the 48,000 fans.
Ripken, however, will not be idle for long. "I don't feel much different," he said. "Now that I know what it feels like, I don't want to sit and watch a game anymore." Accordingly, he was due to be back in the Orioles' line-up against the Toronto Blue Jays last night - with a new streak of one and counting.
But if Ripken took a break on Sunday, Mark McGwire did not. The St Louis Cardinals slugger belted his 65th home run of the season in Milwaukee and his third in five days. The blast put him four clear of Maris' 1961 record, and two ahead of Sammy Sosa, of the Cubs, with six games of the regular season left to play.
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Met Police confirm that there was a 'minor disturbance'
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination
I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title
Latest in Sport
Luis Suarez: Lionel Messi is better than Cristiano Ronaldo
Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies from spine injury after doing somersault celebration
West Brom vs Manchester United: Latest score and Twitter updates, with Stephane Sessegnon, Marouane Fellaini, Saido Berahino and Daley Blind on target
Arsenal vs Hull: Gary Lineker and Piers Morgan lead criticism of Arsene Wenger after 'uncomfortable' interview with Jacqui Oatley
Adel Taraabt criticism from QPR boss Harry Redknapp sparked by player walking out of team meeting prior to Liverpool game
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming the street artist's identity has been revealed
- 3 Are you ready for Crazy Doritos, the red-hot snack food craze sweeping Mexico’s streets?
- 4 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 5 Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
£21500 - £40000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: ***KS1 & KS2 Teachers ...
£80 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Year 5 Teacher KS2 teaching job...
£35000 - £45000 Per Annum Pensions Scheme After 6 Months: Clearwater People So...
£35000 - £37000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Busines...