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 Ripken Jr’s Induction Speech

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.

Posted July 30, 2007 by
heroes, Sports | 6 comments

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  • Comments

    6 Responses to “Kudos to Two Class Acts of Baseball: Cal Ripken Jr and Tony Gwynn Enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame”

    1. Scared Monkeys on July 30th, 2007 9:02 am

      A round of applause to 2 men who did it right.

    2. Nekpir on July 30th, 2007 1:00 pm

      Why hasn’t anyone in the media investigated whether or not Cal Ripken used steroids or other illegal substances during his streak? Hmm, a player plays 2632 consecutive games during the steroid era. If the media and public are so ravenous to take down Bonds, then why stop there?

    3. Mike on July 30th, 2007 3:46 pm

      Actually those that take steriods usually have shorter careers….look at Canseco, McGuire, Giambi….even Bonds, Sosa, Palmero seem to be constantly injured….so to me your argument doesn’t fit.

      Beside if he did take steriods you would have heard about it long ago.

    4. Scared Monkeys on July 30th, 2007 4:17 pm


      The honest answer is because Ripkin was never a self-absorbed ass and obviosu cheet like Bonds is. To even try and lump Ripkin in with Bonds is a joke.

      Ripkin never grew in size nor did his stats ever change significantly over his career. Did you ever watch Ripkin play? If anything, Ripkin’s career stats probably were lessened in the long run because of the streak, because he was playong injured of fatigued.

      If Ripkin had used roids as you suggest, you would have seen spikes in stats and certainly a year where he had more RBI’s or HR totals greater than 40. There are none.

      Ripkin did not feel he had to cheat and was rewarded with the Hall of Fame.

      Year Ag Tm Lg G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI
      1981 20 BAL AL 23 39 1 5 0 0 0 0
      1982 21 BAL AL 160 598 90 158 32 5 28 93
      1984 23 BAL AL 162 641 103 195 37 7 27 86
      1985 24 BAL AL 161 642 116 181 32 5 26 110
      1986 25 BAL AL 162 627 98 177 35 1 25 81
      1987 26 BAL AL 162 624 97 157 28 3 27 98
      1988 27 BAL AL 161 575 87 152 25 1 23 81
      1989 28 BAL AL 162 646 80 166 30 0 21 93
      1990 29 BAL AL 161 600 78 150 28 4 21 84
      1991 30 BAL AL 162 650 99 210 46 5 34 114
      1992 31 BAL AL 162 637 73 160 29 1 14 72
      1993 32 BAL AL 162 641 87 165 26 3 24 90
      1994 33 BAL AL 112 444 71 140 19 3 13 75
      1995 34 BAL AL 144 550 71 144 33 2 17 88
      1996 35 BAL AL 163 640 94 178 40 1 26 102
      1997 36 BAL AL 162 615 79 166 30 0 17 84
      1998 37 BAL AL 161 601 65 163 27 1 14 61
      1999 38 BAL AL 86 332 51 113 27 0 18 57
      2000 39 BAL AL 83 309 43 79 16 0 15 56
      2001 40 BAL AL 128 477 43 114 16 0 14 68
      21 Seasons 11551 3184 44 1695
      3001 1647 603 431


    5. Maggie on July 30th, 2007 4:40 pm

      I agree with Red, Ripkin was a class act. Glad he made it to the Hall of Fame. Gentleman Jim “Catfish Hunter” was my all time favorite. He too was a class act.

    6. Houston on July 30th, 2007 6:01 pm

      These guys are looking Old….but what a life to look back on.

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