Tonight, the baseball record that most thought unbreakable will belong not to Lou Gehrig -- as it has for more than 50 years -- but to a balding, 34-year old shortstop from Aberdeen, Maryland. And when Cal Ripken takes the field at the Camden Yards in Baltimore, it will be the 2,131st consecutive time he has started a Major League Baseball game. Alongside him will be the President of the United States, the Vice President and, of course, Republican cintender Bob Dole. The decidedly low-key father of two who doesn't even compare himself with the great former Yankee whose record he'll about to eclipse. "Cal modestly, and somewhat mistakenly, believes that Gehrig was a much better player than himself," says TIME's Steve Wulf. "Offensively he may be right, although Cal had some Gehrigian years. But defensively Ripken plays a much tougher position than Gehrig did, and he does a much better job of it."