The Streak: Lou Gehrig, Cal Ripken Jr., and Baseball's Most Historic Record

THE STREAK                                                   THE STREAK

When Cal Ripken Jr. began his career with the Baltimore Orioles at age twenty-one, he had no idea he’d beat the historic record of 2,130 games played in a row set by Lou Gehrig, the fabled “Iron Horse” of the New York Yankees. When Ripken beat that record by 502 games, the baseball world was floored. Few feats in sports history have generated more acclaim. But the record that Ripken now owns, quite possibly forever, spawns an array of questions. Was his streak or Gehrig’s the more difficult achievement? Who owned the record before Gehrig? When did someone first think it was a good idea to play in so many games without taking a day off?   Through probing research, meticulous analysis, and colorful parallel storytelling, The Streakdelves into this impressive but controversial milestone, unraveling Gehrig’s at times unwitting pursuit of that goal and Ripken’s fierce determination to play the game his way, which resulted in his seizing of the record decades later. Along the way Eisenberg dives deep into the history of the record and offers a portrait of the pastime in different eras, going back more than a century.   The question looms: Was it harder for Ripken or Gehrig to play every day for so long? The length of seasons, the number of teams in the major leagues, the inclusion of non-white players, travel, technology, and even media are all part of the equation. Larger than all of this, however, is a book that captures the deeply American appreciation—as seen in the sport itself, its players, and its fans—for that workaday mentality and that desire to be there for the game they love, the job they are paid to do. 


Most people know about the streak and this book goes into depth about not only Lou Gehrig, but also Cal Ripken. It opens with the scene of Ripken going around the stadium when he broke the record. I remember watching it that night, but I wonder what it would be like in this day with all of the devices that we have at our finger tips. The author breaks down both players careers and even goes as far as if either one had hurt their team by playing so many straight games. Of course, Gehrig had a much higher lifetime avg, home runs, and RBI’S Ripken had more hits getting over 3,000. So one could say up until when Gehrig took himself out his last year he did not hurt them until then, but his drop off was huge and of course, we all know why now. For Ripken the author goes back and forth between different writers and their opinions some I think just think that no one should play all of those games in a row. There is also a thought that because of the grind of the season that rest or day off is needed especially if you play a night game and then a day game. Who really knows? The author also gives a look into the past at the people before Gehrig and some the records that he would break and how really no one kept a record of those stats back then. Overall a very good book full of facts and information. I got this book from I gave it 4 stars. Follow us at

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