I remember the first time I saw Cal Ripken Jr.
I was 15, watching him at spring training in Florida. I couldn’t believe how tall and strong he was. He was everything I wanted to be.
1️⃣ GOLD GLOVE SHORTSTOP
2️⃣ HIT CLEAN-UP, AND HIT FOR AVERAGE AND POWER
3️⃣ WORLD CHAMPION
4️⃣ LEAGUE MVP
5️⃣ PLAYED FOR ONE TEAM HIS ENTIRE CAREER
6️⃣ PLAYED EVERY INNING OF EVERY GAME
That last feat is truly inspiring. Cal played every INNING of every game for more than 13 seasons. No days off. No innings off. He was truly made of iron.
That first day I saw him ... that was the day I knew I could play shortstop and stay there. I was shocked at how smoothly he fielded ground balls on the back training field. He caught 53 ground balls, including 21 backhanded plays. I was hooked. I remember thinking, "baseball is the greatest game in the world, and Ripken is my idol." That feeling never waned, even when I got to know my hero up close years later, when he would invite me to his home during the off-season for a basketball game or two.
It saddens me that many in the sports community are missing the beauty of the game's flow, its cadence, and its strategy. Baseball is not the only great thing that’s often overlooked and undervalued, but in today's hurried world, it's worth remembering that everything has its rightful pace and time. The game that Cal inspired me to play deserves no less.
In 2001, the All-Star Game was in Seattle. I knew it was Cal’s last season, and therefore, his last mid-summer classic. I wanted to repay him for inspiring and motivating me, and for being so kind to me over the years. We switched positions to start the game. Cal was back at shortstop where he belonged. Back at the position he changed forever. Back at the spot where he amazed and inspired a 15-year-old kid to follow in his footsteps.
Thanks again, Cal.
Who has had a positive impact on your life? Whether it’s an athlete, entertainer, business mogul, or relative, who inspires you to be great, and why?
Friday night grind @niyamasol
Reps: 50, 35, 21, 14, 21, 35, 50 👠
I miss #Harlee
When she visits, it’s never “work.” So much fun sharing the 89th MLB All Star Game experience with this one. @foxsports
DC is awesome! Such a thrill to see 73 of the greatest players in the world in the All-Star Game tonight. I’m excited by the new talent in the game and all of the young stars. This year’s #midsummerclassic
features 30 first-time All-Stars, 29 players age 27 or younger, and 23 foreign-born stars. So great for the game. @MLB @FS1
AROD GS25. LIMITED EDITION. Only 696 made. Link in bio.
I’m not sure who’s more excited, this young man or myself. His reaction is exactly why we are making the limited series of 696 #ARodGS25
bats available for fans. Check out www.ARodShop.com tomorrow to see how you can own one of these special collectibles, the first bats that I’ve designed personally. Thank you all for the support and for being such incredible fans of the game I love.
There was nothing like an afternoon game in old Yankee Stadium packed with screaming passionate knowledgeable @yankees
fans!! Such a historic building and I’m honored to have been there during the only four years in franchise history when attendance topped 4 million, from 2005-2008. And I’ll never forget days like this one. #SeeYa
What’s your favorite all-time memory from The House That Ruth Built?
Always swinging for the fences!