52 years ago today, a 19-time all-star was born. The man who broke Lou Gerhig's consecutive game streak, which lasted for 56 years; Cal Ripken Jr.'s birthday is today.
Ripken Jr. is best known for breaking Gerhig's record, when he played his 2,131st game on September 6th, 1995. He is regarded as one of the best shortstops of all time, and is said to open the doors for bigger shortstops to become successful at that position. In his 21 seasons as an MLB player, Ripken tallied up 3,184 hits, 431 homeruns, 1,695 RBI's, and also won two Gold Gloves. After his departure from baseball in 2001, Ripken continues to be involved with the game that he loves, developing his own nation wide league, Cal Ripken Baseball, and also becoming invovled in multiple charities, one of which being Lou Gerhig's disease. He also, with his brother Billy founded the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, giving underprivledged kids the opportunity to attend baseball camps. He also his a co-founder of Athletes for Hope.
Ripken essentially never left the game, but can he become even more involved in the game than he already is in his post-playing career, possibly as a skipper for the Orioles?
Cal has a deep passion for the game, as obvious through his charity work, involvement in minor league teams, organizations, and as a former player, not to mention a 19 time all-star, he has a pretty damn good understanding of the game. The MLB is crawling with former players as coaches, and maybe the baseball gods are calling Ripken's name to serve once again for the MLB.
In the summer of 2010, reports surfaced that Cal would become involved in the Orioles organization. Ripken was quoted in an article later on that summer stating that he would consider joining the Orioles organization as a part-time advisor, and full-time once his son graduates in 2012. That has passed.
The Orioles find themselves in a respectable 3rd place of a tough AL East division. Under Buck Showalter's helm, they have performed pretty well the past few years, and have started to redevelop their reputation. Possibly with another great baseball mind such as Cal Ripken Jr's, they can get over that hump.
Robin Ventura, 45, who is a former all-star, is in the middle of his first year as manager of the Chicago White Sox, who are leading the AL Central. Even though Ventura is younger than Ripken, there is still plenty of time for Cal to become a skipper in this league.
Cal turns 52 today, and by the time he turns 53 next year at this same time, he might be wearing a managerial baseball cap, rather than his "charity cap."
Follow me on Twitter: stevie_con21