They're not Cal, but these 5 are made of iron

Ripken played 1,000th consecutive game 30 years ago today

June 23rd, 2018

Thirty years ago today, Cal Ripken Jr. became the sixth player in Major League history to play in 1,000 consecutive games. As it turned out, he was less than 40 percent through his famous iron-man streak.

The run of consecutive games played, which began on May 30, 1982, continued all the way to Sept. 19, 1998. When the dust settled, Ripken had played 2,632 games in a row, smashing Lou Gehrig's hallowed record of 2,130.

• All-time consecutive game leaders

It's difficult to believe that any current player will challenge, much less usurp, Ripken. Only one player saw action in every game in each of the previous two seasons -- more on him below -- and over five years from 2013-17, just 13 players combined for a total of 17 seasons with 162 games played.

After all, the Major League season is an unrelenting grind, and teams understand the importance of rest and recovery. The issue isn't whether a player could play 2,000-plus consecutive games, but if he should.

With that in mind, and on the anniversary of Ripken's 1,000th game, here is a look at five of the most durable iron men among active position players.

, Astros

The reigning American League Most Valuable Player Award winner's small stature is well known, but it doesn't take away from his strength or toughness. Altuve is one of six players to log at least 150 games played in five consecutive seasons, and of those, at least two -- (suspension) and (disabled list) -- have seen their streaks broken. Altuve just keeps on chugging, however, appearing in every game Houston has played so far in 2018. He ranks third in the Majors in total games played since his first full season in 2012.

, Royals

Known for his defense at shortstop much more than his bat (.635 career OPS), Escobar's most impressive attribute is actually his ability to stay on the field. The only man to play 162 games in both 2016 and '17, he has once again found himself in the starting lineup for every single Royals game this season, including one start in center field. In fact, Escobar has started in 408 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the Majors and the longest by a shortstop since Ripken himself. With no longer active, Escobar is the only current player to have three 162-game seasons in his career, and he leads the Majors in games played (1,325) in the 2010s.

, Braves

The 34-year-old is a darkhorse candidate to get to 3,000 hits, and his playing-time advantage is a big reason why. Markakis has been on the disabled list only once in his 13 seasons, back in 2012. He has played in at least 147 games in every other season since his rookie campaign in '06, joining Longoria as the only players to appear in at least 155 games in each of the past five years. Markakis has yet to miss a game for the first-place Braves this season, and on top of that, he's putting up some of the best offensive numbers of his career.

, Phillies

The Phillies signed Santana to a three-year contract last offseason, banking on his track record of durability and consistent production. Despite a slow start at the plate fueled at least in part by some bad luck, he is doing for Philadelphia what he did year after year for Cleveland -- play every day, get on base a lot and hit with some pop. The catcher-turned-first baseman missed a bit of time early in his career to injuries sustained behind the plate, but with the tools of ignorance now behind him for good, Santana is on track to be one of four players with at least 150 games each year since 2013.

, Mariners

is out for the season after having Tommy John surgery. His older brother, however, continues to be a daily part of Seattle's lineup. Kyle has been perhaps the most consistent performer in the Majors in recent years, and while his offensive numbers are down, he has started all but one game for the Mariners this season, bringing his slick glove to the hot corner. Seager played in at least 154 games each year since his first full season in 2012.

Honorable mentions:, Twins; , Padres; , Giants; , Angels; Joey Votto, Reds.