BOB COSTAS INTERVIEWS CAL RIPKEN JR. ON MLB NETWORK BEFORE THURSDAY NIGHT BASEBALL
Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr., President & CEO Ripken Baseball, Inc., stopped by MLB Network studios for an interview that will air tonight during On Deck Circle at 6:00p.m. ET, prior to Thursday Night Baseball (Boston at Tampa Bay). Ripken sat down with Bob Costas to discuss the upcoming 70th anniversary of Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig’s famous farewell speech at Yankee Stadium, as well as Ripken’s thoughts on Gehrig and his legendary record for consecutive games played.
Thursday’s segment is part of a longer interview between Costas and Ripken that will air later this summer in conjunction with Major League Baseball’s initiative to raise awareness and financial support for organizations leading the fight against ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), otherwise known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.” With the new charitable campaign “4♦ALS Awareness,” MLB is working with four leading organizations – The ALS Association, ALS TDI, Augie’s Quest (the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s ALS research initiative) and Project A.L.S. – whose primary goal is to find a cure for ALS. The initiative will culminate on July 4, 2009, which is the 70th anniversary of Lou Gehrig’s famous farewell speech at Yankee Stadium.
Highlights of the interview include:
ON GEHRIG SITTING OUT FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HIS CAREER:
“When my streak ended after all those games, I didn’t know what to do with myself. There were other reasons, obviously for Lou, but I certainly didn’t know what to do with myself, I didn’t know how to behave. I felt like I was on the outside looking in. and I’m wondering if he thinks he’s on the outside looking in right there.”
ON RIPKEN’S CONNECTION TO GEHRIG:
“I often wonder what a conversation would be like if you had a chance to sit down and talk to Lou and kind of compare notes – why you did it, how you did it, what were your challenges, because to me, it just happened. It wasn’t ever a part of what I wanted to do – it was a sense of responsibility, it was your obligation to yourself and to your team and to your manager, and I’d love to hear those things from Lou.”
ON BREAKING GEHRIG’S RECORD IN 1995:
“I guess at the time in ‘95, I was still pushing Lou away a little bit. In some ways, I knew the comparison was necessary because of what the streak was all about, I never felt it was right, because he was one of the game’s greatest players. I never thought of myself in that same category. We had a link because of our desire to play and our resiliency in our ability to do that. But I think I was pushing him away because I didn’t want it to become an obsession.”
ON GEHRIG’S CHARACTER:
“I think everybody on the surface knows what a great man he was. He was a man of character, an iron horse in the truest sense – strong, thick, and probably a little bit stubborn as a result, but I’d love to learn a little bit more about him but really in my own time.”