Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Ripken Jr. goes for 1,000, McGwire blasts 300

On June 25, 1988 Hall of Famer and Baltimore Orioles great, Cal Ripken Jr. plays consecutively for 1,000 games. He would go on to play a total of 2,131 consecutive games breaking the record previously held by Lou Gehrig, in 1995 and in 1998 he would see his consecutive game streak end at 2.632.
To this day Ripken Jr. is still the holder of the most games played consecutively, and as of June 11 2013, the current player with the longest active Major League consecutive games streak is Prince Fielder of the Detroit Tigers with 405.

Ripken finished his career with a .276 batting average, 3,184 hits, 431 home runs, 1,078 extra base hits, 603 doubles, 1,129 walks 1,647 runs and 1,695 RBIs in 3,001 games played. All of which are Baltimore Orioles records.

Ripken Jr. was the 1982 American League Rookie of the Year, and was a 19-time All-Star; making the All-Star team in every season he played except for his Rookie campaign. He was the All-Star Game MVP twice in 1991 and 2001, and is still the All-time leader in MLB All-Star fan balloting with 36,123,483 votes. He has the most starts at shortstop for the American League in an All-Star game with 15, and 17 in total with two at third base.

He won the World Series once with the Orioles in 1983, was a two-time Gold Glove winner in 1991 and 1992. He was an eight-time Silver Slugger award, including four straight from 1983-1986. He was a two time American League MVP in 1983 and 1991. Ripken was the 1991 Home Run Derby winner and in 1992 he received the Roberto Clemente and Lou Gehrig Awards.

In 1999 Ripken Jr. was named to Major League Baseball’s All-Century Team. That same yea he was ranked number 78 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players.

Ripken Jr. had his iconic number eight Baltimore Orioles jersey retired in 2001, that same year he was ranked the third greatest shortstop all-time in The New Bill James Historical Abstract.

He was elected into the Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007 with 98.53 percent of the vote on the first ballot in which he appeared. The third highest for a player ever, and the highest ever for a position player. 

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On June 25, 1996 Oakland Athletics slugger Mark McGwire hits home run number 300 for his career, he would end his career with 583 home runs.
In 1987, he broke the single-season home run record for rookies, with 49. Throughout his career Mark McGwire hit 49 or more home runs five times en route to hitting 583 career home runs. Four times McGwire led the league in home runs. For his career, McGwire averaged a home run once every 10.61 at bats, the best at bats per home run ratio in baseball history (Babe Ruth is second at 11.76).

1n 1998 as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals McGwire and fellow National League central rival, Chicago Cubs right fielder Sammy Sosa both encountered on a record-breaking home run season. McGwire and Sosa would both end up breaking Roger Maris' single season home run record of 61 home runs, as Sosa went on to hit 66 home runs and McGwire 70.

McGwire’s 70 home run season was a Major League record until 2002 when Barry Bonds broke the feat when he hit 72 home runs.

McGwire finished his career with a .263 career batting average, 1,626 hits, 1,167 runs, 1,414 RBIs to go along with his 583 home runs. His career on base percentage was .394, his career slugging percentage was .588 and his on base plus slugging was .982.

McGwire was the 1987 American League Rookie of the Year, and was a 12-time All-Star including six-straight appearances twice, from 1987-1992 and from 1995-2000. He was a two-time World Series Champion, once as a player with the Oakland Athletics in 1989 and once as a coach with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011. He won a Golden Glove at first base with the A’s in 1990 and won three Silver Slugger awards, two with the A’s in 1992 and 1996 and one with the Cardinals in 1998. McGwire also won the 1992 Home Run Derby and was given the Lou Gehrig Award in 1999.
Also in 1999 he was named to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.

McGwire also played for Team USA in the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984 helping Team USA earn a Silver medal. McGwire also helped the United States in international play during the Pan American Games and Intercontinental Cup in 1983 helping the USA earn a Bronze and Silver medals respectively.

In 1999, The Sporting News released a list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players. The list had been compiled during the 1998 season and included statistics through the 1997 season. McGwire was ranked at Number 91.

In 2005, The Sporting News published an update of their list and McGwire had been moved up to Number 84.

However, in the 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 balloting for the Baseball Hall of Fame, McGwire failed to attain election receiving 128 of the 545 cast (23.5 percent of the vote) in 2007, 128 of 543 (23.6) in 2008, 118 of 539 (21.9) in 2009, 128 of 539 (23.7) in 2010, 115 of 581 (19.8) in 2011, 112 of 573 (19.5) in 2012, and 96 of 569 (16.9) in 2013.

McGwire had a Hall of Fame career based on his stats and accomplishments but because of his trouble with performance enhancing drugs (PED) his call to the hall might come in to questioning.