WASHINGTON — A sprained ankle in 1985 and the “Mussina Brawl” in 1993 are just two of the many obstacles Cal Ripken Jr. endured in his quest to become baseball’s Iron Man, which he accomplished on Sep. 6, 1995 by playing in 2,131 consecutive games, surpassing Yankee Legend Lou Gehrig.
Author John Eisenberg wrote “The Streak: Lou Gehrig, Cal Ripken Jr. and Baseball’s Most Historic Record,” which chronicles the story of Gehrig and Cal Ripken Jr. achieving their famous streaks of consecutive games played.
Eisenberg explores some of the factors in terms of the differences in the streaks and mentions the biggest factor being the general scheduling of the modern day era in MLB. Gehrig played in a total of two time zones with games starting at the same time every day, whereas Ripken flew from coast to coast and sometimes played day games the next day after a night game.
Ripken tells Eisenberg, “If I were an Ironman wanting to do a streak, I would be in his era because of that routine.”
Eisenberg discusses media and fan pressure to take a day off when Cal was slumping at the plate as he approached Gehrig’s streak, and also tells the story about how Gehrig played shortstop back in Detroit with a flaring back in 1934.
Listen to the entire interview.
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