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Baltimore Sports Then and Now

15 Years Ago: Cal Ripken Jr. Passes Lou Gehrig 33

Posted on September 05, 2010 by Dean Hybl

Before officially breaking Lou Gehrig's consecutive game streak on September 6, 1995, Cal Ripken Jr. blasted a home run in the contest against the Angels.

It is probably a bit of an overstatement to say that Cal Ripken Jr. saved major league baseball 15-years ago this week when he passed Lou Gehrig to become baseball’s all-time “Iron Man”. However, there is no question that Ripken played a huge role in the healing process following the most contentious labor strike in baseball history.

Baseball had been riding high in 1994 when a desire by the owners to institute a salary cap and the insistence by the players never to accept one halted the sport in its tracks. The World Series was not held for the first time in 90 years, leaving many fans bitter and vowing never to return to “America’s Pastime.”

The strike carried into the offseason and wasn’t resolved until a federal injunction against the owners leading to the resumption of baseball in late April 1995. Overall, the strike lasted 234 days and cancelled more than 900 games while in essence changing very little.

As could be expected, when baseball did return the fans were not rushing back to greet the players as long-lost heroes.

Instead, fans displayed their disillusion with both sides by staying away in droves as stadiums that were typically full were suddenly seeing large swaths of empty seats. Those who did come to the ballparks often brought with them signs reflecting their frustration with sayings such as “$hame on You” or shouted comments like “You ruined the game!”

For most of the 1995 season teams across the league saw attendance figures plummet as baseball struggled to regain the interest of fans who had realized there were other things to occupy time and interest. Read the rest of this entry →

Who is Baltimore’s Greatest Athlete of All-Time? 12

Posted on September 30, 2009 by Dean Hybl
Many consider Johnny Unitas to be the greatest athlete in Baltimore sports history.

Many consider Johnny Unitas to be the greatest athlete in Baltimore sports history.

Measuring greatness is always a tough challenge. While athletes grow in size, stature and athletic ability, does it mean the athletes of today are greater than those of 30 years ago and were those athletes better than the stars of the 1940s and 1950s?

Through the years, Baltimore has been blessed with many great stars.

From the 1950s through the 1980s, Memorial Stadium was home to some of the greatest athletes in Baltimore sports history. Then since the Orioles moved to Camden Yards and the ravens came to town, there have been more superstars to call the city home

But who is the greatest of the greats?
Read the rest of this entry →

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