Orioles manager Brandon Hyde didn’t hesitate when asked about Cal Ripken Jr.’s record-breaking streak.
In an era with pitch limits and scheduled days off, with load management styles a part of professional sports, the days of starters playing a full 162 — or in 2020’s case, 60— game season have mostly gone away.
With that has essentially erased any possibility for another Iron Man in Major League Baseball.
“I don’t see how it could be replicated,” Hyde said last week. “I think that’s one that’s gonna stand forever.”
The Orioles will honor Ripken’s streak, which will likely stand forever, Sunday at Camden Yards for the 25th anniversary of the record-breaking game. First pitch against the Yankees is scheduled for 1:05 p.m.
25 years have passed since Ripken’s streak, which has given the Orioles an opportunity to blow out for the celebration — even without fans.
Cal’s son, Ryan, will catch a pre-recorded first pitch from his father before the game. That pitch will be shown all across major league parks Sunday. Orioles players and coaches will also wear “2131” patches on the right sleeve, while a digital graphic that displays “2130” and “2131” will be shown on the Warehouse in right field to mimic the night a quarter-century ago.
Ripken will also join the MASN and 105.7 The Fan broadcasts during the game to discuss the streak and his memories of the game in September of 1995.
Now, the Orioles are ready to honor their franchise’s most popular player and one of the game's heroes like he deserves on Sunday afternoon.
Better pay attention, too. Because there almost assuredly won’t ever be another Cal Ripken Jr.