In 1995, Cal Ripken became major league baseball’s “Iron Man,” breaking Lou Gehrig’s 56-year-old consecutive-game streak. He retired in 2001 and in 2007, added a new title to his repertoire: philanthropist. But could manager or owner someday be added to that list?
Yesterday, Ripken answered questions from readers regarding his work as a Special Public Diplomacy Envoy through the State Department, his upcoming trip to Japan and his thoughts on and goals for returning to major league baseball.
“It’s important because when I was first asked to spread goodwill through sport, I understood the meaning of it intellectually, but I didn’t fully understand it until I went to China,” Ripken wrote in response to a question asking why his envoy work was important to him. “The same joy of sharing sport here is the same throughout the world. The same smiles, the same fun. It is really an opportunity to be with people. There is a magic of sport that I was able to discover and having had that success, I’m going to keep doing it,”
Ripken also spoke to the future, addressing questions asking if he would ever own the Orioles or become a team manager.
“I think my ideal job would be able to impact a whole baseball organization,” he wrote. “And since my team was the Orioles, I’d love to be in the position to do that someday.
“Managing has always appealed to me,” he continued later. “My dad always encouraged me to manage along in the game with the manager. And certainly my expertise lies in between the white lines. Are you offering me a job?”
As for the integrity of the game and how the game has changed over the years, Ripken was optimistic about the future of the sport.
“I think if I was the commissioner, and I think all commissioners feel this way, is that baseball is such a great game that you never really want to let down the fans on how the game is played or viewed,” he wrote. “There’s been some dark clouds that have hung over baseball, but I’m satisfied that the honest and pure game of baseball is returning.”
To read more, please check out the full transcript of the chat..