Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken, Jr., two of the greatest players from the 1980s and 90s, entered Baseball immortality yesterday, joining the likes of Babe Ruth, Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle in the Hall of Fame.
Gwynn, who many consider the best hitter in baseball history after Ted Williams, finished his illustrious career with 3,141 hits and a .338 career batting average. Earning 8 batting titles in his 20 seasons in the Major Leagues, Gwynn hit over .350 six times, topping out at .394 during the strike shortened 1994 season.
Ripken enters the Hall of Fame as one of the best shortstops the game has ever seen. Many credit Ripken for paving the way for bigger and stronger shortstops, a trend that continued with Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter, among others. Ripken’s 2,632 consecutive games played is a record that may never be broken. In addition, his 3,184 hits in 21 seasons places him 14th on the all-time list.