KANSAS CITY, MO., JULY 28 -- How impressive was Cal Ripken's errorless streak? Consider that opposing shortstops made 15 errors between Ripken's goofs on April 13 and today.
The Orioles' record-setting shortstop dropped a grounder by Jeff Schulz in the fifth inning, ending his errorless streaks at 95 games and 431 chances, both major league records for shortstops.
Asked if he is relieved that the streak -- and all the attention that surrounded it -- is over, Ripken said: "It's not a relief. I'd rather not have made the error."
It wasn't an easy play -- Ripken had to go to his right and backhand the ball. But when he came up to throw, he dropped it.
Del Black, the official scorer, made the call.
Did Ripken think it was an error?
"I didn't think it was an easy play," he said. "I had a chance to throw him out, but the ball was hit deep and it was spinning away from me. To make that play, I would have had to set myself before I threw it. But I think if I would have caught the ball, I could have gotten him."
Orioles Manager Frank Robinson had no problem with the official ruling: "He had the play, but he dropped it."
Ripken broke the major league record with his 89th consecutive errorless game on July 20, and the record for errorless chances with his 384th on July 16.
The streak nearly ended at 67 games June 26 in Baltimore, after Ripken was charged with an error when a relay throw from center fielder Mike Devereaux glanced off his glove. But, after protests by Ripken and Robinson, official scorer Bill Stetka changed the call the next day, charging the error to Devereaux.
Ripken still has only three errors in his last 153 games and two throwing errors in his last 295 games, going into today's second game.