Rating the Greatest Baseball Players of All Time

My rankings of the greatest baseball players ever, starting with number 1, in order.

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Monday, February 24, 2003
 
Number 34:
Cal Ripken, Jr.



He's the Iron Man, the successor to Lou Gehrig in the title. He set the new record for consecutive games played, and did it at the physically demanding position of shortstop. He won two MVP awards, years apart. He was never recognized as a flashy shortstop, not acrobatic, but his powerful arm let him play deep enough to take away hits on balls most shortstops couldn't reach. That defensive ability puts him this high, along with a powerful and productive bat. He appeared in three postseasons, and got one World Series ring, in 1983.



He was the ballplayer who carried a lunchpail, came to work every day, and followed in his dad's footsteps, playing beside his brother. A lot of fans related to him and his work ethic. He became a hero for the multitudes. He may still be the most recognizable baseball player alive. And he was one of the greatest of all time. Ripken's appeal is that, like Batman, it seems like we could BE him, if we were only willing to work as hard as he did.



Ripken earns 210.88 points in the ratings system.



Ripken's statistics: .276 average, 431 homers, 1129 walks, 603 doubles, 1647 runs, 1695 RBI.