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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Iron man Ripken replaces Yankees' Iron Horse
By Larry Schwartz
Special to ESPN.com


Sept. 6, 1995

Baltimore's iron man replaces the Yankees' Iron Horse when Cal Ripken plays in his 2,131st consecutive game, bettering the record that Lou Gehrig held for 56 years.

In the fourth inning, Ripken homers. After the California Angels are retired in the fifth inning, with Baltimore leading, game No. 2,131 is official and Camden Yards erupts. Ripken presents his jersey and cap to his wife and two small children bringing waves of warm applause from the sellout crowd of 46,272, including President Bill Clinton and Joe DiMaggio.

When Ripken heads for the dugout, several teammates push him out. And then the Orioles shortstop, who began the streak 13 years ago, begins an impromptu trot around the perimeter of the ballpark. Ripken slaps the hands of dozens of strangers in his 10-minute jog. A sign in the stands says: "We consider ourselves the luckiest fans on the face of the earth. Thanks Cal."

The ovation for Ripken lasts 22 minutes and 15 seconds.

In a postgame ceremony, DiMaggio says, "Wherever my old teammate Lou Gehrig is today, I'm sure he's tipping his cap to you, Cal Ripken."

The streak will reach 2,632 games before Ripken decides to sit out late in the 1998 season.





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