Interview discusses Ripken’s thoughts on Gehrig and his record for consecutive games played
Programming honors the 70th anniversary of Lou Gehrig’s famous farewell speech at Yankee Stadium
July 1, 2009 – MLB Network’s Studio 42 with Bob Costas will host an interview with Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. that will air on July 5 at 8:00 p.m. ET on MLB Network. The interview discusses the 70th anniversary on Saturday, July 4 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. Immediately following the interview, MLB Network will air the Academy Award-winning film “Pride of the Yankees, the story of Gehrig’s life and career starring two-time Academy Award-winner Gary Cooper, at 9:00 p.m. ET.
Sunday’s programming is 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, when every MLB Club playing at home will conduct a special on-field ceremony to honor Gehrig’s memory by recreating part of his “Luckiest Man” speech in an effort to raise awareness and financial support for 4ALS.
Highlights of the Ripken 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.”