A Look At “Unbreakable” Records: Cal Ripken’s 2,632 Consecutive Games Played.

One of the things that analysts and fans evaluate in a professional athlete is their physical and mental toughness. This is also important to an athlete because their reputation for being on the field on a regular basis also contributes to their legacy. Teams are still interested in Javier Vasquez every time he hits the free agent market because he consistently eats up innings; it has been documented that he can’t pitch in the “big game,” but teams love it when they have a pitcher that they can depend on every fifth day.

Cal Ripken Jr. is the ultimate iron man; obviously, most baseball fans are well aware of his long journey to break Lou Gehrig’s consecutive games streak of 2,130. As you will see in a moment, Ripken and Gehrig are in a league all by themselves when talking about the all-time list of consecutive games played. The top-ten streaks of all time are:

  1. Cal Ripken, Jr.: 2,632 games
  2. Lou Gehrig: 2,130
  3. Everett Scott: 1,307
  4. Steve Garvey: 1,207
  5. Miguel Tejada: 1,152
  6. Billy Williams: 1,117
  7. Joe Sewell: 1,103
  8. Stan Musial: 895
  9. Eddie Yost: 829
  10. Gus Suhr: 822

It’s pretty plain to see that the top two on this list are head and shoulders above the rest on this list. Pete Rose had two different streaks in the top-15 (745 and 678 games) before Miguel Tejada knocked him off a few years ago; however, if you add both of those streaks together, Rose doesn’t even come within 1,000 games of Ripken. His 16-year run of playing every game for the Orioles was unbelievable, considering his Hall of Fame career, which includes: .276 batting average, 431 home runs, 1,695 RBI, and 3,184 career hits, while transforming the position of short stop into what it has become today.

When Baltimore won a World Title in 1983, Ripken also became the first player in Major League history to play in every game possible that season (regular season, league championship series, and World Series). Will this record be broken? Not a chance; I think it’s safe to assume that this record will stand the test of time. The longest active streak of consecutive games played is held by the Dodgers’ Matt Kemp, who currently stands at 365 consecutive games played. To approach Cal’s record, Kemp would have to play in every game for the next 14 years. I mean, that could happen, but let’s just say that I’ll believe it when I see it.