Cal Ripken Jr. and Rebecca Lobo each won two ESPY Awards on Monday night, including top male and female athlete honors.
Ripken, who broke Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive games played, won the Showstopper of the Year award as well as Male Athlete of the Year. Ripken's 2,131st straight game was the showstopper winner."You have to excuse me. I have the sniffles and a scratchy throat," Ripken said with a sly smile. "Good thing it's the offseason, because I don't think I could play with this.
"Last year was such a great celebration. I have had time to sit back and reflect what happened and I actually can admit I enjoyed the process. We all got a chance to celebrate baseball. Baseball is a great game and I think we rebounded."
Lobo, who led Connecticut to the NCAA championship, was selected Female Athlete of the Year and the best women's college basketball player.
The outstanding team was Lobo's Connecticut Huskies, who went undefeated in taking the NCAA title.
"I play a team sport, so I am basically just here representing them," Lobo said.
Voting for performers of the year in the various sports was done by players, coaches and administrators in those sports. A panel of 10 ESPN employees selected the winners of overall awards such as top athletes. ESPN viewers chose the winners in 10 video award categories.
Awards were presented in 34 categories, including 17 performer of the year selections. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to The V foundation, established at the inaugural ESPYs in 1993 by Jim Valvano, the late coach at North Carolina State, to help raise funds for cancer research.
Michael Jordan won the comeback award, then was comically interrogated by comedian Bill Murray, who asked Jordan whether he deserved the NBA All-Star game award he won the previous day over Shaquille O'Neal and the comeback award over Monica Seles.
Jordan thanked Murray for putting him on the spot, then told Murray not to call him for tickets this year.
The outstanding coach-manager was Gary Barnett, the football coach at Northwestern.
"We more or less captured the hearts of the people of America," Barnett said.
Dodgers rookie pitcher Hideo Nomo, the first Japanese player to have an impact in the major leagues, was the breakthrough athlete. He thanked ESPN, the Dodgers, his family, teammates and the United States.
Honored for his performance under pressure was goaltender Martin Brodeur, who led the New Jersey Devils to the Stanley Cup.