Cal Ripken, Jr. is here and he threw out the ceremonial first pitch as part of a tour for the third installment in the New York Times best-selling “Cal Ripken, Jr.’s All-Stars” series titled “Wild Pitch”. The series is also co-authored by Baltimore Sun columnist Kevin Cowherd.
Ripken was impressed with the Orioles’ spring facility, he had never been to Ed Smith Stadium before and got a tour from head athletic trainer Richie Bancells, and all 400 copies of his book brought to the stadium on Thursday were sold.
Asked if he would ever consider a move to get back into baseball’s front office, Ripken said: “It’s always flattering to be thought of in the way that I’ve been thought of, I’ll put it that way. And there’s a side of me that wants to be challenged in a big league way. What that is I’m not sure. I did make a choice when I got away from baseball to be there to get my kids off to college, that was my mindset. And now that they are off to college, could be a time in your life where you think about those things coming up. [I] don’t know yet.”
But could he see himself donning an Orioles uniform again like several former teammates?
“I’d have to get a little bit bigger uniform these days,” Ripken joked. “But I don’t know. That’s a weird feeling…There’s something special about putting that on and going out there and doing what you did for all those years.”
Ripken remains close with vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson and admitted that sometimes he gets a “little jealous” hearing about Brady being on the inside and still so involved in things.
“But I have kept myself pretty busy and I’m not quite ready to give up what I’ve been doing or my availability,” said Ripken. “But certainly my conversations with Brady time to time, feels like you are on the inside and in the know a little bit more than you have been in the past.”
Could Anderson be pushing his old buddy to rejoin Baltimore as well?
“Is he recruiting me? No, I don’t think so,” Ripken said with a laugh. “At least he hasn’t shown his hand yet if he was.”