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While He Plays On and On, Others Keep Dropping Off

August 01, 1994|EARL GUSTKEY

David Ginsburg of the Associated Press put a new twist on Cal Ripken's consecutive streak, which reaches 2,000 games tonight.

Since Ripken, a shortstop, began his streak with the Baltimore Orioles on May 30, 1982, players have gone on the disabled list more than 3,100 times, Ginsburg notes.

Furthermore, 492 players have started at shortstop in the 12 years since Ripken has started.

Jeff Conine of the Florida Marlins, with 265 consecutive appearances, has the closest current streak to Ripken's.

Add streak: Lou Gehrig, who holds the record at 2,130 consecutive games, came out early 69 times and missed two starts. Ripken has started every game during his streak and come out early 58 times.

Last add streak: Sachio Kinugask of the Hiroshima Carp of Japan's Central League has a streak even longer than Gehrig's--2,215.

Trivia time: What do major league players Kevin McReynolds, Kirby Puckett, Mark McGwire, Gary Sheffield and Eric Karros have in common?

No-strike vote: Pitcher Jose Rijo of the Cincinnati Reds would rather see some records broken than a players strike.

For instance, Houston's Jeff Bagwell, with 105 runs batted in, has a chance to be the first National League player to drive in 150 runs since Tommy Davis in 1962.

"I want to see guys of our generation with a chance to break records," Rijo said.

Gull watch: Andre Agassi should have boned up on local laws before he smacked a ball at some pesky sea gulls fluttering over him during the Canadian Open in Toronto last week.

In 1983, Dave Winfield of the New York Yankees killed a sea gull with a warmup throw during a game at Toronto. Winfield was taken to police headquarters and charged with cruelty to animals. Charges were later dropped.

Come In. . . . Art Aragon, the old Los Angeles fighter who is a Van Nuys bail bondsman, recently described the bad beating he took from Carmen Basilio in 1958:

"I was on my stool between rounds when the bell rang," he said. "I said to my manager: 'That's the bell. Go see who it is.' "

Crowd counts: Noting the tiny crowds attending track and field events at the Goodwill Games in St. Petersburg, reader George Kiseda sends this item along:

"According to the Guinness Book of Track and Field Facts and Figures, the smallest crowd ever to see a world record may have been 48, the number attending a Pasadena meet in 1953 when Fortune Gordien broke the discus record."

Trivia Answer: All were once California League rookies of the year.

Quotebook: Former infielder Ron Hunt, the National League record-holder for most times hit by pitches (243): "Once when I was with the Dodgers, I fouled off 14 or 15 pitches against Nolan Ryan. Finally, he hit me. Then he walked the next three batters and I scored. We won, 1-0. That was my greatest game."

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