BALTIMORE (WJZ) – Cal Ripken, Jr. waited over 24 years to watch the broadcast of his record-breaking 2,131st consecutive game played.

He said his first time watching it was this spring when a replay was broadcast.

The Baltimore Orioles and Major League Baseball will commemorate the 25th anniversary of Ripken’s accomplishment this weekend.

“Everybody relates to the grind of doing something every day, so they were sharing their streaks with me,” Ripken told WJZ Thursday. “It was a love of a work ethic, the importance of showing up every day, and people could understand that and they did it in their own lives.”

Ripken taped a “first pitch” at Oriole Park, throwing to his son, Ryan, who is an infielder in the Orioles’ system. The pitch will be shown at MLB games Sunday.

“It was kind of cool. He threw out the first pitch that night as a 2-year-old and now here I am throwing one celebrating 25 years later,” Ripken said. “We went into an empty stadium, Camden Yards. I threw the first pitch out to my son Ryan.”

The Baseball Hall of Famer recalls the Sept. 6, 1995 game in front of a sellout crowd at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

“Rafael Palmeiro came up with the idea of the lap around the ballpark. I thought it was a dumb idea,” Ripken recalled what led to his lap around the field. “When I got pushed down the line down there, I said, ‘Well, I guess I gotta do it.’

That was a really cool moment because it turned the celebration from a huge stadium celebration to a very intimate one where I was shaking hands, looking in people’s eyes.”

The Orioles are inviting fans to share their memories of the record-breaking night with them at Orioles.com/2131Memories for a chance to be featured during Sunday’s Orioles-Yankees broadcast.

Paul Gessler

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