The Streak: Lou Gehrig, Cal Ripken Jr., and Baseball's Most Historic Record
The fascinating story of baseball’s legendary “Ironmen,” two players from different eras who each achieved the coveted and sometimes confounding record of most consecutive games played
When Cal Ripken Jr. began his career with the Baltimore Orioles at age twenty-one, he had no idea he would someday beat the historic record of playing 2,130 games in a row, a record set forty-two years before by the fabled “Iron Horse” of the New York Yankees, Lou Gehrig. Ripken went on to surpass that record by 502 games, and the baseball world was floored. Few feats in sports history have generated more acclaim. But the record spawns an array of questions. When did someone first think it was a good idea to play in so many games without taking a day off? Who owned the record before Gehrig? Whose streak—Gehrig’s or Ripken’s—was the more difficult achievement?
Through probing research, meticulous analysis, and colorful parallel storytelling, The Streak delves into this impressive but controversial milestone, unraveling Gehrig’s at-times unwitting pursuit of that goal (Babe Ruth used to think Gehrig crazy for wanting to play every game), and Ripken’s fierce determination to stay in the lineup and continue to contribute whatever he could even as his skills diminished with age.
The question looms: How do these streaks compare? There were so many factors: the length of seasons, the number of teams in the major leagues, the inclusion of nonwhite players, travel, technology, medical advances, and even media are all part of the equation. This is a book that captures the deeply American appreciation—as seen in the sport itself—for a workaday mentality and that desire to be there for the game every time it called.
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The Streak: Lou Gehrig, Cal Ripken, and Baseball's Most Historic RecordUser Review - Jim Burns - Book Verdict
On May 2, 1939, Yankees manager Joe McCarthy agreed to leave a slumping and (though it wasn't known at the time, mortally ill) Lou Gehrig on the bench for a day. This ended his streak of 2,130 ... Read full review
The Ghost of 2131
First of Their Kind
A Famous Headache
Toughing It Out
A Tragic Turn
Is It Really a Good Idea?
The True Believer
A Day Off at Last
Playing Every Day
A Sour Year
A Friends Influence
The Blessing of Good Fortune
A Guiding Philosophy
A Philosophical Change
Other editions - View all
All-Star American League asked at-bats author interview ballpark Baltimore Sun Bancells baseball baseball’s baseman batting practice bench Bill Ripken Billy Williams Cal Ripken Jr Camden Yards career catcher club clubhouse consecutive-game record consecutive-game streak Cubs Dodgers doubleheader dugout end his streak fans fastball field fielder full season Garvey Gehrig’s record ground ball guys Hall of Fame hitter home runs Hudler Huggins infield injury Ironman July June Junior later leaguer lineup Lou Gehrig Luderus major league manager missed a game Musial National League never night off-season Orioles outfielder pennant Phillies Pinkney Pipp pitch pitcher plate play every day players playing streak Red Sox Ripken recalled Robinson runs batted Ruppert Ruth Ruth’s Senior September Sewell shortstop Sporting sportswriter spring training started Steve Garvey straight games streak ended streak going team’s teammates Tejada third base took wanted Williams World Series wrote Yankee Stadium York Yost