The man who broke Lou Gehrig’s consecutive games played record definitely belongs in the Hall of Immortals – but not for breaking that record. Cal Ripken, Jr. belongs in the HOI for his play on the field, not just because he went to work every day.
A 2-time MVP and perennial All-Star, Ripken changed the shortstop position. Prior to him, shortstops were generally speaking good glove, no bat, defensive players. Ripken was bigger, stronger, and could hit the ball. Over the course of his career he hit 345 homeruns as a shortstop (431 total), more than anyone before (and still the record). Prior to Ripken the record holder was Ernie Banks at 277. Since Ripken, shortstops have become bigger and stronger, becoming more of an offensive threat.
Did I mention he also had over 3,100 hits?
As for the consecutive games streak – yeah it’s impressive, but IMO a bit overrated. Yeah he surpassed Gehrig, but he did it while flying first class, getting the best treatment around, getting more off-days than Gehrig would get. It’s really not a fair comparison.
Regardless, there is no questions that Cal Ripken, Jr. is an Immortal.
For some background on what this is, check out the introduction post here.