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The fascinating story of baseball's legendary "Ironmen," two players from different eras who each achieved the coveted and sometimes confounding record of most consecutive games played

When Cal Ripken Jr. began his career with the Baltimore Orioles at age twenty-one, he had no idea he would someday beat the historic record of playing 2,130 games in a row, a record set forty-two years before by the fabled "Iron Horse" of the New York Yankees, Lou Gehrig. Ripken went on to surpass that record by 502 games, and the baseball world was floored. Few feats in sports history have generated more acclaim. But the record spawns an array of questions. When did someone first think it was a good idea to play in so many games without taking a day off? Who owned the record before Gehrig? Whose streak - Gehrig's or Ripken's - was the more difficult achievement?
Through probing research, meticulous analysis, and colorful parallel storytelling, The Streak delves into this impressive but controversial milestone, unraveling Gehrig's at-times unwitting pursuit of that goal (Babe Ruth used to think Gehrig crazy for wanting to play every game) , and Ripken's fierce determination to stay in the lineup and continue to contribute whatever he could even as his skills diminished with age.

The question looms: How do these streaks compare? There were so many factors: the length of seasons, the number of teams in the major leagues, the inclusion of nonwhite players, travel, technology, medical advances, and even media are all part of the equation. This is a book that captures the deeply American appreciation - as seen in the sport itself - for a workaday mentality and that desire to be there for the game every time it called.



About the Author

John Eisenberg

John Eisenberg grew up with books in his hands - his first summer job was at his mother's bookstore in his hometown of Dallas, Texas. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, he wrote for newspapers for almost three decades, mostly as a sports columnist at The Baltimore Sun covering major events such as the Super Bowl, Final Four, World Series, Kentucky Derby, and soccer's World Cup while also paying attention to his hometown teams - the Baltimore Ravens, Baltimore Orioles, and Maryland Terrapins. Along the way he wrote 3,000 columns and won more than 20 awards, including several first-places in the prestigious Associated Press Sports Editors contest.

He also has written for Sports Illustrated, Smithsonian Magazine, and Details, and before working in Baltimore. spent five years with the Dallas Times Herald.

No matter if he is writing about a famous football coach, a heartbroken jockey, or a pitcher who wins 20 games, John is known for unearthing original stories and bringing them to life with his clear-eyed analysis and lively narrative style. His book topics have included the start of Vince Lombardi's dynasty in Green Bay, the history of the Baltimore Orioles, his experience as a young fan of the Dallas Cowboys in the 1960s, the tragic breakdown of the horse Barbaro, and an outrageous North-South horse race that captivated the nation in 1823.

John lives in Baltimore, Maryland.



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