The Streak: Lou Gehrig, Cal Ripken, and Baseball’s Most Historic Record

John Eisenberg. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-0-544-10767-0
Eisenberg (The First Season) adeptly profiles the two Baseball Hall of Fame players whose consistency became the stuff of legend: Lou Gehrig, who played 2130 consecutive games, and Cal Ripken Jr., who broke Gehrig’s record and eventually played 2632 games. He also excels in exploring others who approached their level. A stopped train didn’t deter Everett Scott (who held the consecutive game record until Gehrig broke it), who ran to a house, hired a car, took a trolley, and hailed a cab to join the Yankees mid-game. The efforts of George Pinkney (of the Cleveland Blues in 1884), who played third base without a glove, resonated with Brooklyn’s working class. Gehrig, for his part, relished the attention to his record, even correcting journalists who lost track. Ripken simply went about his business, though he eventually stayed in a separate hotel from his teammates and took a limousine to home games. The streak became more of an attraction with the rise in popularity of statistics, highlighted by the 1913 establishment of the Elias Statistical Bureau. Massive guaranteed contracts, and the prudence of taking breaks rather than playing every day, have made Ripken’s record even more inaccessible. Eisenberg’s impressively researched effort is a terrific tribute. Eight-page b&w insert. (July)
Reviewed on: 04/10/2017
Release date: 07/04/2017
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Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-544-10397-9
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