By Mark Viviano

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Orioles prepare to celebrate a major anniversary Tuesday night.

In front of a sold out crowd and on national television, Cal Ripken Jr. broke Lou Gehrig’s consecutive games streak 20 years ago this week, playing in 2,131 straight games.

Sports Director Mark Viviano with a look at the special events marking the anniversary.

It’s a popular question in Baltimore this week–where were you 20 years ago when Cal Ripken broke the ironman streak?

Cal Ripken’s lap around the field the night he broke Lou Gehrig’s record is a moment and a memory forever a part of Baltimore sports history.

Now Cal makes his rounds as a baseball ambassador, the owner of the O’s minor league team in Aberdeen, involved in youth baseball nationwide; an ironman still going strong 20 years after the streak.

“In some ways, it seems like it was another lifetime ago that I played. I was out, my last year was ’01. And I can’t believe that it’s the 20 year anniversary of the streak. It seems like that was just yesterday,” Ripken said.

Time passes, but Ripken’s love of the game remains. So do the questions about him being further involved at the big league level–maybe a manger or a general manager?

“Some days, I feel like I’d like to tap that expertise. But if I’m going to do it, I guess I better start doing it soon because I’m getting older,” Ripken said. “But I’m totally content connecting with baseball the way I do.”

Forever connected to baseball as a hall of famer and owner of the streak.

The longest current streak belongs to the O’s Manny Machado–the only big leaguer to play in every game this season–but 2,131 games or more?

“From my perspective, it can be done. But the conditions around it now, the expectations are not necessarily to play 162,” said Ripken. “And once somebody figures out they can play 162 once, then they can repeat it over and over again.”

Cal says he believes it can be done, but to put it in perspective–Manny Machado has played in 131 consecutive games–that’s 2,000 short of the Lou Gehrig record-breaking game.

It would take Machado playing every game for 15 more years to challenge that.


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