On April 15, Cal Ripken Jr. got his 3,000th hit in Minnesota, thereby becoming the seventh player to get 3,000 hits and 400 home runs in major league history. He became the 24th major league player to reach 3,000 hits.
The crowd erupted into a 2 minute ovation after Ripken's hit. After the souvenir ball was retrieved and given to Ripken, he threw it to his wife, who sat above the visitor's dugout. After the game ended, the Baltimore Orioles third baseman signed autographs for approximately 15 minutes.
Born and raised in the Baltimore area, Ripken would have preferred to have had hometown Oriole fans see his 3,000th hit. Only 10 of the 24 members in the 3,000 hit club reached this mark while on the road.
Unlike the frequently traded players today, Ripken stands out because he spent his entire career with one team, the Orioles. But that may not surprise some, since it was almost a family affair. His father, Cal Ripken Sr., served for 12 seasons as the Orioles' coach and manager. Brother Bill played for two seasons. In fact, all three played together in 1987 when Cal Ripken Sr. made his own record by being the first father to manage two sons simultaneously in major league baseball history's regular season.
Ripken began his story book career as a 20-year-old rookie for the Baltimore Orioles. His loyalty, consistency at plate, and work ethic are among the traits that have led to his legendary status as the "Iron Man" of baseball. When he broke Lou Gehrig's game streak record with his own 2,632 consecutive games played between May 30, 1982 to Sept. 19, 1998, Ripken's record of endurance has amazed fans and colleages.
Ripken's "Iron Man" reputation is attributed to his good health, talent and longevity. Until last year, Ripken rarely experienced health problems. But this changed in April 1999, when Ripken was put on the disabled list after experiencing lower back pain. In late September 1999, he underwent surgery and missed 13 games. Still on the road to recovery, Ripken's determination should keep him slugging away whether he is in or out of the limelight.
Ripken Collectibles News
On the collectible sidelines, auction news is coming up related to the Ripken milestone streak that he reached in 1995. Ripken is renown for his 2,632 consecutive game streak, but it appears that memorabilia associated with the record is also popular. Specifically the lineup cards associated to the streak has been covered in the local Baltimore media.
The Baltimore Orioles originally filed a lawsuit to stop a former manager from selling a Ripken streak lineup card at auction in order to place it in a museum. There were five copies of the lineup card for Ripken's historic game and a ceremonial pen. The manager kept the bottom copy and the pen. Other copies were distributed to the plate umpire, the manager of the visiting Anaheim Angels, Ripken, and the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum in Baltimore. The original, top copy is in Cooperstown, NY in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
A collector bought the umpire's copy of the lineup card for $20,000, along with other game memorabilia that the umpire donated to Bowling Green University.
An out-of-court settlement finally allowed the manager to sell the souvenir. A Virginia man claims that he paid more than $40,000 for the card, along with one used the previous night (Sept. 5 and 6) and other memorabilia.
To read more about Ripken, click on Icing on the Cake, What Ripken's 3,000 Hit Achievement Means for Collectors