Calvin Edwin "Cal" Ripken, Jr., nicknamed "The Iron Man", is an American former baseball shortstop and third baseman who played 21 seasons in Major League Baseball for the Baltimore Orioles. One of his position's most offensively productive players, Ripken compiled 3,184 hits, 431 home runs, and 1,695 runs batted in during his career, and he won two Gold Glove Awards for his defense. He was a 19-time All-Star and was twice named American League Most Valuable Player. Ripken is best remembered for breaking Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive games played, a record that had stood for 56 years and many deemed unbreakable. In 2007, he was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
Born in Maryland, Ripken grew up traveling around the United States as his father, Cal, Sr., was a player and coach in the Orioles' organization. After a fine career at Aberdeen High School, Ripken, Jr. was drafted by the Orioles in the second round of the 1978 MLB Draft. He reached the major leagues in 1981 as a third baseman, but the following year, he was shifted to shortstop, his long-time position for Baltimore.