Cal Ripken Jr. was at Ed Smith Stadium to promote his new children’s book, “Wild Pitch,” and he stopped by and talked to the local media.
(By the way, they brought 400 books to be signed and all were sold. The Iron Man can still hold the attention of baseball fans.)
Ripken was asked about what he’s eyeing now that his youngest child, son Ryan, is off to college at the University of South Carolina -- and whether a long-discussed, long-rumored return to the Orioles in some type of front-office role is still on the radar.
“It’s always flattering to be thought of in the way I have been thought of, put it that way,” Ripken said. “And there is a side of me that wants to be challenged in a big league sense, 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. Now that they are off to college, it could be a time in your life when you think about these things. Don’t know yet.”
He was asked about whether he had ever considered getting back on the field as an instructor or coach.
“I’d have to get a bigger uniform these days. I don’t know. That’s a weird feeling. I ran into [Al] Bumbry, I saw Scotty [McGregor], and I know B.J. [Surhoff] comes down. B.J. has a heck of a time when he comes down. Brady [Anderson] is in uniform doing his thing. There is something special about putting that on and going out there and doing what you did for all those years.”
He was asked whether the rise in the organization of Anderson, the club’s vice president of baseball operations and one of Ripken’s best friends during his time in Baltimore, makes him more intrigued about returning.
“Talking to Brady and seeing how engaged he is -- Brady was always one of the smarter guys around, and he is very passionate about all aspects of the game -- and to see him talking and being on the inside of the game, I’m a little jealous at times. I have kept myself pretty busy, and I’m not quite ready to give up what I’ve been doing. ... But, certainly, my conversations with Brady from time to time feel like you are on the inside and in the know a little bit more than I have been in the past.”
Has Anderson attempted to nudge Ripken away from his other careers -- including baseball analyst and minor league owner -- and toward the Orioles?
“Is he recruiting me? No I don’t think so. At least he hasn’t shown his hand yet if he was.”