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Cal Ripken, Jr.
Cal Ripken Jr. in 1993.jpg
Shortstop / Third baseman
Born: August 24, 1960 (1960-08-24) (age 61)
Havre de Grace, Maryland
Batted: Right Threw: Right
debut
August 10, 1981, for the Baltimore Orioles
Last appearance
October 6, 2001, for the Baltimore Orioles
Career statistics
Batting average .276
Hits 3,184
Home runs 431
Runs batted in 1,695
Teams
Career highlights and awards
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction 2007
Vote 98.53% (first ballot)

Calvin Edwin "Cal" Ripken, Jr. (born August 24, 1960), nicknamed "Iron Man", is a former Major League Baseball shortstop and third baseman. He played his whole 21-year baseball career for the Baltimore Orioles (1981–2001).

Ripken is perhaps best known for breaking New York Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive games played. The record had been called too hard to break. He beat the 56-year-old record when he played in his 2,131st straight game on September 6, 1995 between the Orioles and the California Angels in front of a sold-out crowd at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Ripken hit a home run in the game the night before that tied Gehrig's record and another home run in his 2,131st game. Fans later voted this game as Major League Baseball's "Most Memorable Moment" in MLB history. Ripken played in an 501 more straight games over the next three years. His streak ended at 2,632 games when he removed his name from the lineup for the final Orioles home game of the 1998 season. His record 2,632 straight games lasted over seventeen seasons, from May 30, 1982 to September 20, 1998.

A 19-time All-Star and member of the 3000 hit club, Ripken is considered one of the best shortstops and third basemen to ever play the game. At 6' 4" (1.93 m), 225 lbs. (102.27 kg), he led the way for taller, larger shortstops to be successful in that position. When voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007, he was a first ballot inductee with the third highest voting percentage (98.53%) in Hall of Fame history, behind Tom Seaver (98.84%) and Nolan Ryan (98.79%).

He is a best-selling author and the President and CEO of Ripken Baseball, Inc. The company's goal is to grow the love of baseball from a more grassroots level. Established in 2001, Ripken Baseball represents Cal and his brother Bill's business and philanthropy dealings and focuses on several subsidiaries: Ripken Management and Design, Youth Camps and Clinics, Cal Ripken, Sr. foundation, Ripken Professional Baseball, with three minor-league teams—the Aberdeen IronBirds (affiliated with the Orioles); the Augusta GreenJackets (affiliated with the San Francisco Giants); and the Charlotte Stone Crabs (affiliated with the Tampa Bay Rays)—and Ironclad Authentics.

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