Tonight Cal Ripken gave a lecture on campus here at Ohio State. The main topic of his lecture was his formula to succeed in life, his 8 traits of perseverance. For anyone interested he's coming out with a book about them in April I believe. Here they are as he presented:
1.) The Right Approach
2.) Strong Will to Succeed
4.) Love to Compete
8.) Life Management
He went through each and how he used it to succeed in baseball while stressing it will help you succeed in life as well. He also had lots of great stories about each. Overall it was a great time. He's a very entertaining speaker and is very good at mixing in some humor with everything. He also struck me as a pretty down to earth type of guy. Most of the questions in the following Q & A were rather tame but someone finally dropped the steroids question on him. He immediately started walking off stage saying "That's it, time to go." But he basically gave the same answer he gave in the media about how it shocked him to see how prevalent it has been and how he thinks ultimately the players will have to live with their decisions whether it be now or whenever. (In other words, he gave a very long answer that basically said nothing.)
One surprising answer he gave was his favorite manager was Earl Weaver. I figured he'd say his father, but he said Earl was a master at motivating people. He said Jim Palmer would always whine to Earl about wanting to come out when the 6th inning rolled around when he was in the late stages of his career. Earl would respond by warming up the worst pitcher in the bullpen and then Jim would ask why he was warming up. Earl would say because he's coming in for you to which Palmer would get angry and say he wasn't gonna come out.
After the lecture was over my friend and I waited with about 50 others outside the stage door. Cal came out and signed for about 5-10 minutes and answered questions from the crowd. Someone asked him about Billy Ripken's bat on the baseball card (contained an F bomb, google if you desire) and whether he knew it was there. Cal said "Of course he knew it was there...that's how he identified his bats. He would just write words like that because no one else did so he always knew which handle was his sticking out."
I did end up getting a ball autographed (the very last autograph he signed) so it made the 40 minutes standing in the cold worth it. Very excited about that.
Here are a few pictures from the night: