Originally created 07/23/98

Applauds Ripken's ability, longevity 072398 - The Augusta Chronicle



I read Rick Dorsey's column criticizing the character of Cal Ripken Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles for continuing to play base-ball way past his prime, and I believe his July 12 article was quite off base. This is not his first article to upset readers and I think as editor you might want to review his column before sending it to press.

First, let me state my wife and I retired to this area from the suburban Washington/Baltimore area and we followed the Orioles long before Mr. Ripken was signed by that franchise. If there is one person who best represents baseball today, it is Mr. Ripken. I can't think of any athlete who more perfectly fulfills the part as a "role model" for our youth. He has certainly never been, nor will he ever be, viewed as an underachiever, either on the field or off.

I was appalled when Mr. Dorsey cited Mr. Ripken was 37 going on 67 (does Mr. Dorsey have a problem with persons who are 67?) and should watch his teammates from the dugout.

Just who is this minor league writer to question Mr. Ripken's athletic prowess or insinuate his continuous play is self-serving? Cal Ripken doesn't need to prove anything but his selection to the 1998 All Star Team (his 16th consecutive appearance) is surely proof his fans still consider him to be of major league caliber.

I had the pleasure to meet Mr. Ripken on two occasions and have followed his career from the minors to the majors. Believe me when I say he is a first-class citizen. Mr. Ripken knows his athletic capability and stability and I can assure Mr. Dorsey when the time comes that Mr. Ripken feels he is no longer contributing to the success of the Baltimore Oriole organization, he will retire from baseball.

Until that day I applaud his ability, stamina and determination to show up for work everyday, and I hope he will continue to build on "his streak."

E. William Edmondson, McCormick