…Some people will never understand why I go about things the way I do, and that’s okay. But I’ll keep going on doing things the same way until it’s proven there’s a better way….And the person who taught me the most about it, and about life, is the former Orioles coach and manager—my dad, Cal Ripken Sr….
My father by nature was a hard-working man….In the winters back home in Aberdeen, Maryland, Dad worked as hard as in summer. Even now there’s not much money in minor-league baseball, and there was less when we were growing up. He managed a pharmacy, drove a delivery truck, worked at a local hardware store and lumberyard. He was out the door at dawn and then fell asleep on the couch after supper almost every night, dog-tired….
My father had his mottos and pronouncements. He’d tell his baseball players, “It’s like a bank, men. You can’t take more out than you put in.”
Another favorite saying—“Do two million little things right, and the big things take care of themselves”….
Senior was inducted into the Orioles’ Hall of Fame in 1996 season. At the banquet he was funny, direct, and foursquare in his remarks. In conclusion, he said he accepted the honor on behalf of all the equally dedicated men he had worked with in the minor leagues for all those years.
Then it was my turn. It was difficult. I wasn’t certain I could say what I wanted about my father, and what he means to me. So I told a little story about my two children, Rachel, six at the time, and Ryan, then three. They’d been bickering for weeks and I explained how one day I heard Rachel taunt Ryan, “You’re just trying to be like Daddy.”
After a few moments of indecision, I asked Rachel, “What’s wrong with trying to be like Dad?”
When I finished telling the story, I looked at my father and added, “That’s what I’ve always tried to do.”
Excerpt taken from Chicken Soup for the Baseball Fan’s Soul