Cal Ripken Jr. won the AL Rookie of the Year award in 1982 and followed that with a league MVP in '83. In 1991 he won the MVP again as he posted career highs in home runs (34) and RBIs (114) while batting .323.
2 of 10John Iacono/SI
At 6-feet-4, Ripken broke the mold for shortstops and paved the way for future slugging shortstops such as Alex Rodriguez and Nomar Garciaparra. Ripken won two Gold Gloves at shortstop, in 1991 and 1992.
3 of 10Walter Iooss Jr./SI
As baseball began the 1995 season late due to the lingering labor dispute from 1994, fans turned their eyes to Ripken to give them a reason to believe in the game again.
4 of 10Walter Iooss Jr./SI
Ripken took it easy as he approached Gehrig's hallowed record.
5 of 10John Iacono/SI
Ripken put the exclamation point on the night he surpassed Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive games played by hitting a homer in Baltimore's 4-2 victory.
6 of 10Illustration by C.F. Payne
An illustration of Ripken graced the cover of SI after he surpassed Gehrig's record.
7 of 10Michael O'Neill/SI, Walter Iooss Jr./SI
SI named Ripken, baseball's new Iron Man, the Sportsman of the Year.
8 of 10AP
During a photo shoot before the 1996 All-Star Game, Roberto Hernandez slipped off the platform and struck Ripken in the nose. Ripken was treated for a broken nose and then returned for batting practice.
9 of 10AP
Ripken victimized the Mariners on May 28, 1996, with a three-home run, eight RBI performance.
10 of 10AP
Ripken silenced critics who thought he was hanging on too long with a career night in Atlanta on June 13, 1999. Ripken went 6-for-6 at the plate with two home runs and six RBIs in the Orioles' 22-1 victory.
You May Like
Sign Up for our Newsletter
Don't get stuck on the sidelines! Sign up to get exclusives, daily highlights, analysis and more—delivered right to your inbox!