Best known for his longevity, Cal Ripken Jr. pioneered the way for big, power-hitting shortstops during his 21-year career.
In his first year on the ballot, Ripken received a Hall of Fame voting record 537 votes, and the third highest percentage of votes cast at 98.5%.
On September 6, 1995 Ripken played in his 2,131st consecutive game breaking Lou Gehrig's MLB record on his way to 2,632 straight games played.
Besides leading the team in career games played with 3,001, Ripken is the Baltimore Orioles all-time leader in several major offensive categories including home runs, RBI, runs, and hits.
After being moved to shortstop prior to the 1982 season, Ripken hit 345 home runs as a shortstop before moving back to third base in 1997 to lengthen his career. Over that period, no player hit even half that many home runs as a shortstop.
One of only eight players to record both 3,000 hits and 400 career home runs, Ripken finished his career with 3,184 hits and 431 home runs.
In just his second full-season, Ripken earned the first of two career MVP awards in leading the Orioles to a World Championship season culminating with a 4-1 World Series triumph over the Philadelphia Phillies.
In 1991, Ripken earned his second MVP award in what is considered his best year as a pro when he hit .323 with 34 home runs and 114 RBI. Ripken also took home the All-Star game MVP and won the Home Run Derby during the 1991 season.
Elected to 19 straight All-Star games, Ripken won his second All-Star MVP award during his final Major League season as he homered off of Chan Ho Park in the 2001 All-Star game.
Since his retirement, Ripken has been active in ownership of two Minor League Baseball teams and released two books and several baseball training videos.