Kudos to Two Class Acts of Baseball: Cal Ripken Jr and Tony Gwynn Enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame
This years MLB Hall of Fame ceremonies were a true FIELD OF DREAMS …
Thank you Cal Ripkin Jr. and Tony Gwynn. With all the focus in Major League Baseball on Barry Bonds and his controversial and steroids tainted home run record, today two giants of baseball and class acts were enshrined in the MLB Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Cal Ripkin Jr. and Tony Gwynn represent everything that is right with baseball. Over their respective careers, Cal and Tony did it right, both on and off the baseball diamond. These two special men delighted man fans over their careers and during todays ceremonies once again for their fans created another Field of Dreams.
Tony Gwynn & Cal Ripkin Jr. – Hall of Fame may never induct two more deserving men of skill and character than these guys ever again. They are two true heros of the game, roll models who got it and ambassadors of baseball.
Many have wondered what it was that made Ripkin so beloved by Orioles and baseball fans. After all, Ripkin did break the fabled Lou Gehrig’s consecutive game mark. Broken records of such giants of baseball are not always easily accepted by fans. Ripkin was embraced by fans and celebrated everywhere because fans knew that Ripkin was a grounded and respectful individual who could always put things into their proper perspective.
“I always looked at it as just showing up for work every day,” he said. “As I look out on this audience, I see thousands of people who do the same, teachers, police officers, mothers, fathers, business people and many others.”
Cal Ripkin Jr. and Tony Gwynn’s marvelous careers for their respective teams were only rivalled by the character they showed both on and off the field making them both two of the classiest men that have played baseball in quite some time.
Ripken and Gwynnrivaled sensed that poignant counterpoint on their induction day.
“This day shouldn’t be all about us,” Ripken said. “Today is about celebrating the best that baseball has been and the best it can be. This is a symbol it’s alive, popular.”
“Whether you like it or not, as big leaguers, we are role models,” he said. “The only question is, will it be positive or will it be negative?”
Gwynn offered the same sentiment.
“I think the fans felt comfortable enough in us, they could trust us and how we played the game, especially in this era of negativity,” he said. “I don’t think there’s any question about that.”
Ripkin and Gwynn attracted record crowd in Cooperstown, NY of over 75,000 fans. Padres fans also packed Petco Park in San Diego to honor Gwynn. One would expect no less from the fans to pay tribute to two guys who transcended the sport of baseball. Ripkin and Gwynn did it it. Both only playing for one team for their entire career. A feat that is not even contemplated by today’s ballplayer.
Ripken spent his entire career in Baltimore, making his mark by playing 2,632 consecutive games and breaking Lou Gehrig’s record of 2,130. Among the 53 Hall of Famers on stage behind Ripken were former Orioles Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Earl Weaver, Eddie Murray and Jim Palmer.
Even though he had 3,184 hits – including 431 home runs — was a two-time American League MVP and a 19-time All-Star, Ripken will always be known for his streak.
Gwynn finished with 3,141 hits and won eight National League batting titles in a 20-year career with the San Diego Padres.