As if being the “Iron Horse” wasn’t enough, Baltimore Orioles legend Cal Ripken Jr. went and joined the exclusive 3000-hit club on this date 20 years ago.
With the novel coronavirus putting everything on hiatus, for the time being, baseball fans have recently looked to the past for rich MLB content. For those of you looking for such things, today is a doozy as it marks the 20th anniversary of Baltimore Orioles legend, “The Iron Horse,” Cal Ripken Jr. joining the exclusive 3000-hit club.
Facing off against Minnesota Twins pitcher Hector Carrasco, Ripken allowed the first pitch out of Carrasco’s hand go for a passed ball, allowing Albert Belle to score what was ultimately the winning run for the O’s.
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With 2-hits already on the day, Ripken was sitting on hit number 2999 and was eager to get the 3000-hit monkey off his back before it got too comfortable on there. As such, on the next pitch, a high fastball, Ripken slapped a single to center field.
Though their team was now losing, the Twins fans at the Metrodome erupted as Ripken was greeted at first base by former teammate and coach Eddie Murray. Soon after, as the ball was tossed in from the outfield, Ripken’s teammates poured out of the dugout and the bullpen to celebrate with the legend.
It wasn’t just that the “Iron Horse” had joined yet another exclusive group, the 3000-hit club, he had become only the seventh player in MLB history to have at least 3000 hits and 400 home runs.
As we remember this great accomplishment and also look back at the phenomenal career Ripken had, remember this:
of every MLB player in the history of the sport, only FIVE have played at least 3000 games, have at least 3000 hits and 400 homers, Hank Aaron, Stan Musial, Carl Yastrzemski, Eddie Murray, and, of course, Cal Ripken Jr.