Cal Ripken, Jr.
The famous rant that has cost me much derision, scorn & contempt… I’m not sure what exactly being “much maligned” means but I think that I am that as well because of my stance on Cal Ripken. So, now I will write words that will surely come back to haunt me.
Cal Ripken is overrated. Not by me exactly… because I don’t rate Cal highly to start with, so the public perception of Cal Ripken, Jr. is much overrated. Here’s the case:
- 1) First, he is a Jr… Junior is ridiculous. Stand on your own. Don’t live off your father’s legacy. Be your own man.
- 2) He is a lifetime .276 hitter. Wow. Does that jump out at you as a Hall-of-Fame credential? Perhaps… if the person jacked 600 HRs.
- 3) He averaged about 20 home runs a season. Yawn.
- 4) He grounded into more double plays than any other player in major league history, so he does own that record. That’s something.
- 5) People will argue about his incredible fielding. This is the biggest joke going. He covered as much real estate at short-stop as I would with an ingrown toenail. His range was miniscule and therefore he didn’t boot the ball often. How impressive! The gold glove is another arbitrary award handed out on reputation.
- 6) The thing he did so well? He showed up for work every day for 16 seasons. Impressed? Don’t be. An average (not batting average… just average) guy showing up for work…Work that consists of 3 hours, 161 times a year. Approximately 480 hours a year. That’s like a 12 week year for most of the working populous. I’ll give him this … he was good at not getting hurt.
Don’t get me wrong. Cal was a good baseball player. Easily liked. Good role-model. Arguably, because of that durability and longevity thing, he is even probably a hall-of-famer. But clearly and obviously overrated.