Cal Ripken Jr. will forever be the Iron Man with 2,632 consecutive games played
Cal Ripken Jr.‘s Iron Man streak of 2,632 consecutive games played from 1982 to 1998 is considered an unbreakable record. What makes this one so special is that Lou Gehrig’s mark of 2,131 before him was deemed unbreakable. His consecutive games played streak lasted for a full 56 years before Ripken broke it in 1995 in the latter part of his career with the Baltimore Orioles.
Ripken extended his streak heading into the final home game of the 1998 MLB season for Baltimore. He played three more seasons in the Charm City after that before becoming a first-ballot National Baseball Hall of Famer. By playing every single day for the Orioles, he became a member of the 3,000 Hit Club and hit 431 career home runs, making 19 trips to the All-Star Game.
For anybody to reach Ripken’s consecutive games played record, a player will likely need to debut with the big-league club in his late teens or early 20s and play into his 40s without ever getting hurt. Not only that, but he probably needs to be on a team that wins a World Series early in his career. Once a rebuild inevitably comes, he needed to build up sentimental value like Ripken did.
While records are meant to be broken, best of luck to anyone who tries to break any of these five.