Baseball: Ripken's home run ends at 2,632 games

NOTHING IN baseball is eternal. Not Roger Maris' home run record, pulverised in 1998 by Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. Not the failure of the hapless Chicago Cubs to put together a winning team (they might even make the play-offs this year). And now not even the Ripken streak.

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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

SThree: Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Do you want to get in...

Ashdown Group: Project Manager - Birmingham - up to £40,000 - 12 month FTC

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Manager - Birmingham - ...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before