August 24, 2010
Believe it or not, Cal Ripken turned 50 years old Tuesday. Or in more appropriate terms, Tuesday marks the 18,262nd straight day that Iron Man 2 has decided to not take a break from breathing oxygen. That's almost enough for seven whole streaks of 2,632 games!
To celebrate, the Baltimore Sun is running a Q&A with Peter Schmuck. The paper also somehow obtained the eighth-grade essay that young Ripken wrote about his dreams to become a professional baseball player. And while I wish I could tell you his teenage cursive told of wise plans to become a paragon of baseball purity just a year after a crippling labor strike, the truth is that Cal Jr. just wanted to get to the bigs and get paid.
OK, so he mixes in some love of the game stuff in there, but leave it to the one-time Answer Man to keep teaching valuable lessons as he approaches eligibility for his Social Security check. While we're always being told differently, even the truest of the true Hall of Famers had a few vulnerable occasions in which a future of big dollar signs crept into their thoughts.
In other words: He's human after all! Happy birthday, Cal!
Big BLS H/N: Mister Irrelevant