Who Mentored Cal Ripken, Jr.?
Interview Watch the video of Cal Ripken, Jr.
Cal Ripken, Jr. is baseball’s all-time Iron Man. He retired from baseball in 2001 after 21 seasons with the Baltimore Orioles. His name appears in the record books repeatedly, most notably as one of only seven players in history to amass 400 home runs and 3,000 hits. In 1995, Ripken broke Lou Gehrig’s record for consecutive games played (2,130) and ended his streak in 1998 after playing 2,632 consecutive games.
Ripken has always placed a strong focus on giving back to the community. Most recently, he joined with his family to honor his father by founding the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation that will seek to bring the joy and craft of baseball to young people who would not otherwise be provided the opportunity.
Cal Ripken, Jr. also serves on The President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation.
The biggest thing about Dad, and the biggest thing he taught me, was by living his life a certain way, by example. He tried to give us the value of being a good person.
When I think about it, I had a slew of mentors. At a time when I came to the big leagues, and there was a lot going on, you thought you had a certain set of skills. You had gone through the minor leagues and the great anticipation of the moment you get into the big leagues, and you thought everything would go smoothly.
The first month of the season didn’t go smoothly for me. I had three hits opening day, which was great. We celebrated that. But then I went into a miserable slump.
And Eddie Murray just put his arm around me. And I guess that could be the ultimate mentoring story. Here’s this guy who’s five years older than me, and had gone through something similar. All he did was put his arm around me and said it was going to be okay.
The value of a mentor…I don’t know what value you can place on it, but the right words spoken at the right time from a person that’s been through it before, can make all the difference in your school year, can make all the difference in that youth game.
And it is a very personal feeling that when you help somebody, there’s a sense of satisfaction, gratification that comes over you that can’t be equaled, not even if you hit a game-winning home run. So, that little feeling inside–and it grows–it might happen the first time and you’ll say, “That’s pretty cool.” Then you do it again and that feeling begins to feed off itself.
If you don’t know what that feeling feels like, you should try it.