NPR logo
Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/89624395/89624387" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Ripken Shares 'Eight Elements of Perseverance'

Sports

Ripken Shares 'Eight Elements of Perseverance'

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/89624395/89624387" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Cal Ripken Jr. played with the Baltimore Orioles for his entire 20-year major league career. Mike Theiler/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Mike Theiler/AFP/Getty Images
Ripken stretches to reach a ground ball during a 1997 game against the Oakland Athletics. i

"If there was one thing that allowed me to break the record [for most consecutive games played], it was truly that I loved what I did," Ripken says. Above, Ripken stretches to reach a ground ball during a 1997 game against the Oakland Athletics. John G. Mabanglo/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption John G. Mabanglo/AFP/Getty Images
Ripken stretches to reach a ground ball during a 1997 game against the Oakland Athletics.

"If there was one thing that allowed me to break the record [for most consecutive games played], it was truly that I loved what I did," Ripken says. Above, Ripken stretches to reach a ground ball during a 1997 game against the Oakland Athletics.

John G. Mabanglo/AFP/Getty Images

Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. may know more about perseverance than just about anyone — the Baltimore Orioles' "Iron Man" played 2,632 consecutive games over the course of 16 seasons between 1982 and 1998. He stayed with the Orioles for his entire 20-year major league career.

Ripken's book, Get in the Game: 8 Elements of Perseverance That Make the Difference, was recently released in paperback. He explains that some of his best days on the field occurred when he had lower expectations.

"I pushed myself to get through," he says. "You just stay within yourself and you perform real well. ... No matter how bad I felt, I wasn't going to be able to accomplish anything watching the game. I didn't want to watch the game. You need to actually have the courage to go out there and give it a try."

Despite his celebrated two-decade career in the major leagues, Ripken says it's important not to get caught up in the heroism that comes with professional athletics.

"Sometimes I think sportsmanship is a little bit forgotten in place of the individual attention," he says. "I think when you play the game longer and you have a certain honor and consideration for the other team, you'll realize you'll still get that feeling [of heroism], but you just don't have to show it out there on the field so much."

Books Featured In This Story

Get in the Game

8 Elements of Perseverance That Make the Difference

by Cal, Jr. Ripken and Donald T. Phillips

Hardcover, 247 pages |

purchase

Buy Featured Book

Title
Get in the Game
Subtitle
8 Elements of Perseverance That Make the Difference
Author
Cal, Jr. Ripken and Donald T. Phillips

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.