Due to rising regional and national cases related to the COVID-19 pandemic, all Smithsonian museums, including the National Zoo, will temporarily close to the public starting Monday, Nov. 23. We are not announcing a reopening date at this time.
Cal Ripken, one of the great baseball players of all time, played his entire career with the Baltimore Orioles-at the beginning and end of his career as a third baseman and for many years in between as a shortstop. Ripken is best known for his incredible "iron man" streak of 2,632 straight games (May 30, 1982-September 20, 1998), breaking Lou Gehrig's "unbreakable" record. Endurance aside, Ripken was also a hard-hitting infielder who ended his career with 431 home runs and 3,184 hits. He led the Orioles to a World Championship in 1983 and was a nineteen-time All-Star selection and two-time American League MVP. In 2007 he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot. Ripken, and the professionalism with which he conducted himself in breaking Gehrig's record, is generally considered to have "saved" baseball as the sport recovered from the disastrous strike season of 1994.