Baseball’s “Iron Man”
In 1995, Cal Ripken broke Lou Gehrig’s 56-year record of most consecutive games played, earning Ripken the title of baseball’s all-time Iron Man. Set over a sixteen year period, the record stands at 2,632 consecutive games and many say that in today’s era of baseball, players wouldn’t be able to come close to breaking Ripken’s record.
RoughRiders Jared Hoying and Ryan Strausborger have both played 26 out of 27 games this season. Hoying, who currently has played the most consecutive games this season, shared his insights on how players can keep their bodies conditioned to play several games in a row.
“A lot of it is just a mindset,” he said. “I like playing every day, and want to play as many games as I can. I tell coach there’s no need to take me out. If he thinks I need to take a day off, obviously, I will.
“I sit in hot tubs a lot, stretch routinely, and eat healthy. I try to get at least ten hours of sleep a night and just do a lot of things to keep my body rested. If you don’t take care of yourself, you risk injury and then it just snowballs from there.
“I like to try to be that ‘Iron Man’ type figure. I like to be that guy that plays every day that can be counted on. I like to have that role. In high school and college I didn’t miss too many games because I wasn’t ever all that injured. In pro ball I’ve only been injured, knock on wood, a couple of times maybe, with a shoulder injury or a little hamstring here and there. Nothing real severe and hopefully it can stay like that.
“In today’s game, I don’t think Ripken’s record could be broken,” Jared continued. They pay their players a lot of money and they don’t want to risk injury. They could end up missing a month because of injury when they could have just missed a week. There’s a big difference between playing hurt and playing injured. It’s too much of a risk to overplay; I don’t think anyone can even come close to breaking Cal Ripken’s record in today’s game.”
Baseball Term of the Day: Nail Down – To secure a victory