Cal Ripken Jr. gets a 22-minute standing ovation during his 2, 131 consecutive game
It’s an off-day for the Oakland A’s. I know a lot of teams may not have today off but in honor of the players getting days of rest once in a while and the fans that hate it when they don’t get to see their favorite team play, here on BBST I’m going to provide you with a baseball fun fact.
Some may be more interesting than others. Last time the A’s had an off-day I chose my fact as a “this day in baseball history fact” involving the great Nolan Ryan. Curious? You can read about it here or check out my Featured Posts & Polls page for more Off-Day Baseball Fun Facts.
Anyhow, let’s get on with the learning part of this fun day in which I cannot watch my A’s play (however poorly they are playing at this point! Ugh!) – so most of you reading this remember or at least know about the day Cal Ripken Jr. broke Lou Gehrig‘s 56-year-old record for consecutive games played (2,130 games).
I remember watching him take the field that day. Again for those who may not know – he took the field as a member of the Baltimore Orioles who were playing the then-California Angels. The game ranks as one of the most watched games in baseball history. The most watched game in baseball history was game 7 of the 1986 World Series but I will save that game for another day.
Today is about Cal Ripken Jr. and his historic day. I was 14 that day. It was September 6, 1995. If you were too much younger than me you may not have memory of the day but you have likely seen the highlight reel.
As soon as the game became official after the top of the fifth inning everyone in attendance, an audience that included the rival Angels, President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, gave Ripken a 22-minute and 15 second standing ovation.
It is still one of the longest standing ovations given to any athlete or team ever. ESPN did not go to commercial. It was as though the world stopped as Ripken broke what is now considered one of the most unbreakable records of all time.
Ripken had to be persuaded by his teammates, Rafael Palmeiro and Bobby Bonilla in particular, but he took a lap around the warning track at Baltimore’s Camden Yards waving and high-fiving the fans who were all there to see him play his 2, 131st game.
The day was made even more special for a number of reasons. Ripken had his entire family there with him, including his wife Kelly, their two children Rachel and Ryan who threw out the ceremonial first pitches prior to the game, his brother and former Orioles second baseman Bill and of course his father and former manager Cal Ripken Sr.
And I almost forgot to mention that during the bottom of the fourth inning, just half an inning prior to the game becoming official, Ripken hit a solo-homer off of Angels’ pitcher Shawn Boskie over the left field fence. The score was then 3-1. The Orioles went on to win the game 4-2.
If you have never seen the video footage of this monumental day in baseball history I encourage you to. I couldn’t find video of the entire 22-minute standing ovation but MLB.com has two short videos of the day that you can find by clicking HERE.