Calvin Edwin "Cal" Ripken, Jr. (born August 24, 1960), nicknamed "Iron Man", is a former Major League Baseball shortstop and third baseman. He played his entire 21-year baseball career for the Baltimore Orioles (1981–2001).
Ripken is perhaps best known for breaking New York Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive games played, a record many deemed unbreakable. He 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 crowd at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. To make the feat even more memorable, Ripken hit a home run in the previous night's game that tied Gehrig's record and 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 (1.93 m), 225 lb. (102.27 kg), he pioneered the way for taller, larger shortstops to be successful in 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 Tom Seaver (98.84%) and Nolan Ryan (98.79%).