Oriole Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. drew a laugh Sunday during his commencement address at the University of Maryland, College Park when he noted his wife, Kelly, graduated from the university, "although she will not allow me to reveal the year."
Dressed in a black robe and glasses, Ripken paused, leaned into the microphone carefully and said in a stage whisper, "1981."
The Comcast Center was packed to the rafters with family, friends and members of the Class of 2013. More than 7,700 students received degrees — although not at the campus-wide ceremony. Individual colleges and schools within the university held ceremonies awarding diplomas at facilities across campus on Sunday and will hold more Monday.
Ripken spoke about the value of making the most of talent and developing skills. But he spent the bulk of his 10-minute talk urging gradates to have a positive attitude. He said as a young player, he cared about his own statistics, "my ticket to the show," and blamed everyone from umpires to groundskeepers when he failed.