Major League Baseball legends recount unforgettable games in their careers in MLB Network’s new series My Most Memorable Game beginning this Thursday at 9:00 p.m. ET. In the series premiere, Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. discusses the night he played his 2,131st consecutive game and broke Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig‘s iron-man streak.
Co-hosted by Bob Costas and Tom Verducci, My Most Memorable Game features Ripken, eight-time All-Star John Smoltz, and Hall of Famers Ozzie Smith, Bob Gibson, Johnny Bench and Tom Glavine as they relive the memories they have from a signature game in their storied careers.
Throughout the hour-long interview filmed in Cooperstown, N.Y., Ripken talks about his emotions leading up to and during the game, being linked to Gehrig in baseball history, criticism he faced during the streak, the closest he came to missing a game, and the mentality needed to accomplish the feat.
Below are a couple of Ripken’s quotes from the show.
“I was proud of the fact that I could play all those games. I was proud of the fact that in order to do that you have to be responsible, you have to be willing to come out there. … I think the only part about the streak that bothered me … is that [fans] said it was a selfish obsession. It wasn’t. It was actually the opposite. I was giving up a little bit of me for the sake of the challenge of today because that’s how I was brought up.
“There was a lot of pressure starting to build up. I never felt the pressure in the streak itself because that wasn’t my goal. And then all of a sudden there was this celebration and there was this set time for this to happen, and all of a sudden, you felt like you had a responsibility to get to the finish line. Once the tying game was over, it was a foregone conclusion that … the record-breaking game would come, so there was a little sense of relief. I was worn out. I was trying to give as much as I can to that process. Mentally and emotionally, I was a little worn down.”