Friday, October 8, 2010

Failure #9: Cal Ripken Jr.

Cal Ripken Jr.

The Iron Man.

Cal was inducted during the year that I made my first and only visit to the sacred grounds of the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.  He was a great player and is enormously popular even still today.  He occasionally appears on XM Radio with his brother Billy, and runs a wide variety of baseball programming through his family foundation.

All of this to say, it wasn't unexpected when I rejection letter from one of Mr. Ripken's associates (just a few weeks ago I had listed Ripken as one player who is too busy to sign, but I sent him a request anyway) explaining that they receive thousands of autograph requests and he is not able to accommodate all of them.

So I guess that means he does sign some of them?

Have any collectors out there had success with Cal Ripken Jr.?


  1. I idolized CRJ growing up. This all ended when I was 12 years old at Camden Yards with my dad. We were somehow 2 of 7 people standing where the players walk in from the parking lot and he wouldn't sign my foul ball for me, "Sorry kid, don't have time". I never viewed him (or the orioles) the same.

  2. Ah - so this has been happening for a while. Good to know.

  3. I have always disliked Cal, so it was no surprise a few years back when I interviewed a sports writer who told me that of the thousands of athletes he has interviewed over his career, no person has a bigger discrepancy between their public persona and how they act in person that CRJ. This writer said he was a boorish a**hole.

  4. It is surprising to me that he was (and is?) so beloved. How do you get away with that stuff for such a long time? Bond's didn't. Is it purely an issue of race?

  5. "Purely" an issue of race? Definitely not. But anyone who claims that race isn't a part of it is not being honest. Bonds would be loathed no matter what his skin color - lying and being a jerk transcend pigment - but would he be loathed quite so much if her were white? I have no evidence, but I don't think so.

    Would Ripken's "streak" be so celebrated if he were not white? No way. He was a great player but his post-all star numbers took a dip almost every year. He had a .262 career average in September and October, by far the lowest of any month during his career. He ABSOLUTELY could have used some days off, especially by the time he was 35 and closing in on the streak. If he were not white, there would have been a much bigger chorus of people saying he should sit, that he should put aside his ego for the good of the team.