He will forever be known as the "Iron Man". Cal Ripken Jr. played his entire 21-year career with the Baltimore Orioles. He is best known for breaking New York Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive games played, a record many deemed unbreakable. Ripken surpassed the 56-year-old record when he played in his 2,131st consecutive game on September 6, 1995, between the Orioles and the California Angels, in front of a sold-out home crowd. To make the feat even more memorable, Ripken hit a home run in the previous night's game that tied Gehrig's record and hit another home run in his 2,131st game, which fans later voted as Major League Baseball's "Most Memorable Moment" in MLB history. Ripken played in an additional 501 straight games over the next three years, and his streak ended at 2,632 games when he voluntarily removed his name from the lineup for the final Orioles home game of the 1998 season. His record 2,632 straight games spanned over seventeen seasons, from May 30, 1982, to September 20, 1998.
A 19-time All-Star and member of the 3000 hit club, Ripken is considered one of the best shortstops and third basemen to ever play the game. At 6 ft, 4 in, 225 lbs., he pioneered the way for taller, larger shortstops to be successful at that position. When inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007, he was a first-ballot inductee with the third highest voting percentage (98.53%) in Hall of Fame history, behind only Tom Seaver (98.84%) and Nolan Ryan (98.79%). Ripken was born into a baseball family, the son of Cal Ripken Sr., who managed the Orioles in the late 1980s, Cal Jr. grew up in baseball clubhouses watching and learning how to act as a baseball professional. Cal was drafted by the Orioles and made his major league debut in 1981 and hit a home run in his first at bat in the Orioles first game in the 1982 season, en route to hitting 28 home runs and being named Rookie of the Year. The next season was even better for Ripken, as he led his Orioles to a World Series Championship and was named the American League Most Valuable Player. His career accolades seem endless, including two-time All-Star Game MVP, two-time AL MVP, All Century Team Member and many more.
This Baltimore orange custom jersey has been hand signed by Cal Ripken Jr. Each autograph is guaranteed authentic, and includes an individually numbered TRISTAR Authentic hologram.