Elected to the Hall of Fame by Baseball Writers: 2007
Cal Ripken Jr. gave new meaning to the phrase "everyday player." From May 30, 1982, through Sept. 19, 1998, the lanky shortstop played in 2,632 straight games for the Baltimore Orioles, shattering Lou Gehrig's "unbreakable" mark of 2,130. Beyond "The Streak," however, Ripken methodically put together a remarkable career, notching 3,184 hits, 431 home runs, 19 straight All-Star appearances, and two Most Valuable Player Awards. Though his solid, steady play earned him hero status throughout America, Ripken also had a flair for the dramatic, homering in both his record-setting 2,131st game and his final All-Star contest.