Tag Archives: lou gehrig

1939 HEADLINE: Lou Gehrig Set To Retire

1939 HEADLINE: Lou Gehrig Set To Retire

1939 Headline: Lou Gehrig Set To Retire

We have all seen the emotional footage of Gehrig standing if front of his teammates and the fans that packed Yankee Stadium on this day in 1939.

I just couldn’t let the day go by without honoring Lou Gehrig on this blog.

While there is one line from Gehrig’s speech that makes it into most MLB telecasts that showcase Mr. Gehrig, the full speech is worth celebrating!

“Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth. I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans. Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn’t consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day?

Sure I’m lucky. Who wouldn’t consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert? Also, the builder of baseball’s greatest empire, Ed Barrow? To have spent six years with that wonderful little fellow, Miller Huggins? Then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology, the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy?

Sure I’m lucky. When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift — that’s something. When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies — that’s something. When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles with her own daughter — that’s something. When you have a father and a mother who work all their lives so you can have an education and build your body — it’s a blessing. When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed — that’s the finest I know.

So I close in saying that I may have had a tough break, but I have an awful lot to live for.”

Three years after Lou Gehrig made that farewell speech at Yankee Stadium, Gary Cooper gave his rendition of it in the movie, “Pride of the Yankees.” Hollywood mogul Sam Goldwyn had resisted the idea of a movie about a ballplayer, and evidently some tweaking had to be done on the speech to make it more appealing at the theater.

Here is the text of the movie version, with such terms as “Murderers Row” and “Bronx Bombers” added for extra effect:

“I have been walking onto ballfields for 16 years, and I’ve never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans. I have had the great honor to have played with these great veteran ballplayers on my left — Murderers Row, our championship team of 1927. I have had the further honor living and playing with these men on my right — the Bronx Bombers, the Yankees of today.

“I have been given fame and undeserved praise by the boys up there behind the wire, my friends, the sports writers. I have worked under the two greatest managers of all time, Miller Huggins and Joe McCarthy.

“I have a mother and father who fought to give me health and a solid background in my youth. I have a wife, a companion for life, who has shown me more courage than I ever knew.

“People all say that I’ve had a bad break. But today . . . today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”

Baseball Card Show Purchase #2 – Cal Ripken Jr. 2004 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites

Baseball Card Show Purchase #2 – Cal Ripken Jr. 2004 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites

Because I was unable to find anyone with any of the new Panini or Pinnacle sets, and only one with the new Topps Chrome cards, it allowed me some time to check out a few other tables.

And luck was just not on my side.

I sifted through a pretty large box of $1 cards, all in top loaders, at a table that I normally do not shop at.  There was not really anything in there that piqued my interest except for this card.

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This is the Cal Ripken card from the 2004 Topps All-Time Fan Favorite set.  As you can see, the card uses the 1983 Topps card design as its template, and I have to say that the coloring looks great.

After bringing this card home, I had to check out the original 1983 Topps card of Cal as I could not recall the image used.  I still think that I like the ’83 version better, but not by much…

1998 HEADLINE: Ripken’s Streak Ends At 2,632 Games

1998 HEADLINE: Ripken’s Streak Ends At 2,632 Games

On this day in 1998, Cal Ripken voluntarily sat out his first baseball game in more than 16 seasons.

Baseball’s ‘Iron Man’ thought that it was time for a break, albeit just one game.

Cal’s streak will go down as one baseball’s most grand accomplishments.  His class on and off the field accompanied by a very large baseball skill set makes him one of the greatest ambassadors that the sport will ever encounter.

Always gracious, always smiling, always a favorite – Thank You Cal!!!

Did You Know…

The first professional athlete to be on the cover of a Wheaties box of cereal was Lou Gehrig.  The Yankees legend made his debut with Wheaties in 1934.

Lou Gehrig

Cal Ripken Jr’s Iconic 1982 Topps TRADED Baseball Card

Cal Ripken Jr’s Iconic 1982 Topps TRADED Baseball Card

Normally, it is the first card that the collector seeks – the player’s debut in the hobby.

But, the most sought after Cal Ripken card from his playing days is actually his second Topps baseball card, the one in the 1982 Traded set.

Yes, Ripken has a rookie card in the base set that was issued in 1982.  And that card is a 3-player card that features two other rookies from the Baltimore Orioles.  While this card still carries a respectable price tag, it is not held in as high regard as the one from the Traded set that was issued later in the year.

This one features just Ripken, and if you are an Orioles collector or Cal Ripken, Jr. collector, this card is an absolute ‘MUST HAVE’.

Check it out:

Ripken Traded

I’ve got to make obtaining this card a mission – I need one of these for my own collection!!!

Cal Ripken’s Hall Of Fame Plaque

Cal Ripken’s Hall Of Fame Plaque

And the plaque says – “Arrived at the ballpark every day with a burning desire to perform at the highest level.  Dedication and work ethic resulted in a record 2,632 consecutive games played from May 30, 1982 through September 19, 1988, earning him the title of baseball’s ‘Iron Man’.  In 21 seasons, collected 3,184 hits and 431 home runs, and was named to 19 consecutive All-star teams.  Won Rookie of the Year honors, 2 MVPs, and 2 Gold Glove Awards.  His Orioles won the 1983 World Series and he hit .336 lifetime in 28 postseason games.”

Sounds like a Hall of Fame resume to me!!!

Cal Ripken Jr & ‘The 3000 Hits Club’

Cal Ripken Jr & ‘The 3000 Hits Club’

On April 15, 2000, Cal Ripken joined another elite class.  This time, it was the ‘3,000 Hit Club’.

On the road in Minnesota, Ripken collected #3,000 by tallying 3 hits on the night.  He became just the 24th member of the club, and put himself into another elite category that is solely reserved for the game’s greatest and most durable players.

By the end of his career, Cal Ripken had 3,184 total hits.  He currently sits in 14th place on the All-time list.

Cal Ripken Jr. & The Streak!!!

Cal Ripken Jr. & The Streak!!!

On September 6, 1995, Cal Ripken broke the all-time Major League Baseball record for consecutive games played.  Lou Gehrig’s record stood for an amazing 56 years, but on this day Cal eclipsed his 2,130th consecutive games played streak.

Amazingly he did not miss a single game in 13+ years!!!  We honor you Cal for this amazing baseball record.

Cal Ripken Is The Owner Of 2 Most Valuable Player Awards!!!

Cal Ripken Is The Owner Of 2 Most Valuable Player Awards!!!

What is amazing about Cal Ripken, and his 21 seasons in the big leagues is that his production was pretty consistent throughout.  Sure, just like every player with a lengthy career, Cal had spikes of success in various aspects of the game.  But the consistent approach and results that he achieved from his hard work made him a superstar.

Let’s take a look at the two best years of his career.  By the way, they came 8 years apart.

In 1983, in just his second full season in the majors, Cal began to dominate.  Collecting 211 hits, a career high, Cal put it all together in ’83.  He made the full-time switch to shortstop and his offensive game thrived.  He became a key cog in the Orioles’ offensive attack, and his efforts helped land his team in the World Series.  By the end of the 1983 campaign, Cal was sitting with 47 doubles, 27 homers, 121 runs scored, and 102 RBI.  Cal became an All-Star in 1983 and also won his first Silver Slugger award.

In 1991, Cal Ripken won is second MVP award.  He thrived again offensively, this time collecting 210 hits.  And the power numbers kept coming as he tallied 46 doubles and 34 home runs, while driving in 114 and scoring 99 times.  Cal was once again an All-star in ’91 and he also won his first ever Gold Glove award for his excellent defensive play.

Cal Ripken Jr. Won The Silver Slugger Award ’8′ Times!!!

Cal Ripken Jr. Won The Silver Slugger Award ‘8’ Times!!!

As a player that never won a batting title or put together a string of 200+ hits seasons year after year, Cal Ripken remained at the top of his game for most of his 21 years in the majors.

And of all of the stats and awards that he amassed during that time, the most impressive accolade that Cal may have achieved would be his 8 Silver Slugger awards.

At the end of each season, a player at each defensive position from each league is honored with the award.  It goes to the best hitter – and Cal was put into that position for 8 of his 21 season – good for a 38% clip!!

When you ask a fan of the game who the best hitters of the ’80s are you will get responses like Gwynn and Boggs and Mattingly and Molitor.  Ripken deserves to be mentioned in that conversation too!!!