25 years later, another 1st pitch for Cal & son

September 6th, 2020

Ryan Ripken was only 2 years old when his father, Cal Jr., famously broke Lou Gehrig’s streak of consecutive games played in 1995. But he played a major part of the festivities that night, supporting his father from the seats next to the Orioles' dugout at Camden Yards with his mother, Kelly, and sister, Rachel. Ryan also threw one of the ceremonial first pitches to his father on that famous evening.

A quarter-century later, history repeated itself. Ryan, now 27 and an infielder in the Orioles' farm system, took center stage in commemorating the 25th anniversary of the historic accomplishment, catching a virtual first pitch from his dad prior to the O's game against the Yankees on Sunday. The pitch, which was broadcast across baseball, was part of a wide-ranging slate of events the club planned to honor the anniversary of Ripken becoming the sport’s Iron Man.

“In some respect, it seems like it was yesterday, where you can relive the moment,” Cal Ripken Jr. told MLB.com recently. “Everything is really crystal clear, wonderful moment. In other ways, it seems like it's another lifetime. You know, 25 years is a long period of time.”

As part of the celebration, Orioles players and coaches wore a commemorative "2131" anniversary patch on their right sleeve during Sunday’s game. Ripken passed Gehrig by playing in his 2,131st consecutive game on Sept. 6, 1995, and would play 501 more before ending the streak voluntarily in 1998.

Like Gehrig’s mark had been before him, Ripken’s streak of 2,632 games played is considered one of baseball’s most unbreakable records. Time may have passed, but nobody has approached it. Many believe no one ever will.

“I don’t think it can ever be replicated,” O’s manager Brandon Hyde said. “I think it will stand forever.”

On Sunday, Ripken joined the MASN TV and 105.67 The Fan radio broadcasts to reflect on the day he broke Gehrig’s record. Special "2130" and "2131" graphics were digitally displayed on the Eutaw Street warehouse through the MASN broadcast, mimicking the iconic banners the Orioles used to count down the games as Ripken approached the record in 1995.

To commemorate Ripken’s journey to 2,131, the O's launched an exclusive interactive digital experience, Orioles.com/2131, which features a collection of content including iconic photos and videos showcasing his career and the historic streak.

The Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation will be featured as part of the virtual community booth during the broadcast.