Cal Ripken Jr.

Today in Performance Sneaker History: Cal Ripken, Jr. Plays 1,500th Consecutive Game in Vintage adidas Cleats

Did you know that Cal Ripken, Jr. holds the Major League Baseball record for most consecutive games played at 2,632? Nicknamed “The Iron Man” for his uncanny endurance, Ripken was also incredibly skilled at both shortstop and third base. In 2007, Ripken was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame with the third-highest voting percentage of all time. The nineteen-time All-Star played twenty seasons with the Baltimore Orioles, who have since retired his #8 jersey.

On July 19, 1991, The Iron Man was just getting started. As the Orioles hosted the Seattle Mariners, Ripken played in his 1,500th consecutive game. Although he still had quite a ways to go before breaking Lou Gehrig’s mark of 2,130 (a feat many deemed impossible), Ripken had already surpassed every active player, and many inactive legends. The closest player to Ripken’s mark of 1,500 straight was Everett Scott with 1,307.

Eventually, on September 6, 1995, Ripken did surpass Lou Gehrig’s record. In 2007, his 2,131st consecutive game was voted by fans as the “Most Memorable Moment” in MLB history. To this day, Ripken stands alone at the top, with no active players coming anywhere close to his remarkable streak.

Later in his career, Ripken would become a Nike guy, but in 1991 he was equipped in the Three Stripes of adidas. These vintage, no-frills leather cleats were done up in a slick Orioles color scheme and worn by Cal throughout the late ’80s and early ’90s. Although he never had an official model, if anyone’s ever deserved a signature cross-trainer, it’s gotta be the Iron Man.

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