|Wednesday, October 23
Updated: October 25, 12:55 AM ET
Ripken's moment tops Aaron's record-breaking HR
SAN FRANCISCO -- Cal Ripken Jr. breaking Lou Gehrig's consecutive games streak was voted baseball's most memorable moment in fan balloting.
The milestone by the Baltimore Orioles' shortstop in 1995 received 282,821 votes, out of more than 1.1 million cast. Many credit Ripken's feat with bringing many fans back to baseball following the 1994 players' strike.
"Mine was a heartfelt moment for many people,'' Ripken told The Associated Press. "I know that because they've told me. For me, it was a magical moment.''
Rounding out the top five memorable moments was Hank Aaron breaking Babe Ruth's all-time home run record in 1974 (275,451 votes); Jackie Robinson becoming the first black to play in major league baseball in 1947 (251,564 votes); the home run chase by Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa to beat Roger Maris' single-season home run record in 1998 (242,279 votes); Gehrig's farewell speech in Yankee Stadium in 1939 (237,131 votes).
The rest of the top 10 moments were Pete Rose breaking Ty Cobb's all-time career hits record in 1985 (230,852 votes); Ted Williams becoming the last player to hit above .400 in 1941 (203,982 votes); Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak in 1941 (176,810 votes); Kirk Gibson's pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to win Game 1 of the 1988 World Series (157,716 votes); and Nolan Ryan's seventh career no-hitter in 1991 (146,269 votes).
Major league baseball and MasterCard, which sponsored the balloting, announced the results before Game 4 of the World Series in San Francisco.
Not making the top 10 were two moments dear to Giants fans: Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard 'Round the World'' in a 1951 playoff game to propel the New York Giants past Brooklyn into the World Series, and Willie Mays' over-the-shoulder catch in the 1954 World Series against Cleveland.
Mays was at Pacific Bell Park before Game 3 and recalled his play that robbed Vic Wertz at the Polo Grounds. Mays, however, added that he thought he'd made a few better plays in his career.
Also not making it were other famous World Series moments: Don Larsen's perfect game in 1956 against Brooklyn; Bill Mazeroski's home run to beat the Yankees in 1960; and Carlton Fisk's shot to win Game 6 of the 1975 Series against the Cincinnati Reds.
Voting took place in all 30 major league ballparks, on major league baseball's Web site, and from ballots in selected magazines and at participating advertisers.