Calvin Edwin “Cal” Ripken, Jr. (born August 24, 1960), nicknamed “The Iron man”, is an American former baseball shortstop and third baseman who played 21 years in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Baltimore Orioles (1981–2001). A 19-time All-Star and two-time American League (AL) Most Valuable Player (MVP), Ripken is best remembered for breaking Lou Gehrig’s record for consecutive games played, a record that had stood for 56 years and many deemed unbreakable. Ripken surpassed the mark on September 6, 1995, by playing his 2,131st consecutive game.
Born in Maryland, Ripken grew up travelling around the United States as his father, Cal, Sr., was a player and coach in the Orioles’ system. After a fine career at Aberdeen High School, Ripken was drafted in the second round of the 1978 Major League Baseball Draft. He reached the major leagues in 1981 with the Orioles, with whom he would play his entire career. Ripken voluntarily ended his 17-year streak at 2,632 games in 1998. One of his position’s most offensively productive players, Ripken tallied 3,184 hits, 431 home runs, and 1,695 runs batted in during his career, and he won two Gold Glove Awards for his defense.
Ripken is considered one of the best shortstops and third basemen in baseball history. At 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m), 225 lb. (102.27 kg), he pioneered the way for the success of taller, larger shortstops. He is a member of the 3,000 hit club and holds the record for most home runs by a shortstop. He was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007.