Cal Ripken Jr talks trucking and baseball

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Our own Wendy Miller caught up with “The Ironman,” Cal Ripken Jr at the recent TCA convention.
Cal tells why setting his record is a lot like being a truck driver.  Take a listen.
Wendy Miller:
Hi, this is Wendy Miller with the Trucker News Channel. And I’m joined today by Cal Ripken Jr. baseball’s Ironman. How are you doing today?
Cal Ripken Jr:
I’m doing very well. I don’t look at myself as an Ironman anymore, but.
Wendy Miller:
Oh, well you jumped right over to my next question. You’re coming up on the 25th anniversary of setting that record. How do you feel about that? And you say you aren’t baseball Ironman anymore?
Cal Ripken Jr:
Well, I think when you’re finished playing, all you have is time to sit back and remember. And the good part about that is that most people remember all the good stuff. They don’t remember any of the bad stuff. The Ironman record was something that I loved to play. I was resilient enough to go out there and play. Mentally, I was strong enough to meet the challenges every day, so I’m very proud of that. It’s been 25 years since that record breaking night. And I think September 6th this year in Camden Yards, they’re going to do a nice little celebration. So anytime you celebrate an anniversary of 25 years, it’s pretty special.
Wendy Miller:
I bet it is. I bet it is. So you just delivered a great message about perseverance. How do you think that that translates to the trucking industry, and to drivers who are out there on the road every day?
Cal Ripken Jr:
Well, the beautiful part of going through 95 and celebrating the streak was how everyone else related to the principles of showing up. And so everybody would tell me their streaks. And so many times there were truckers that say, “I’m on the road, like you are as a baseball player. We have challenges like you do as a baseball player. But it’s important for us to meet those challenges each and every day.”
Cal Ripken Jr:
And that’s the principle that I love. I mean, kids would say, “I haven’t missed a school since kindergarten. I had perfect attendance all the way through.” People that worked at plants would say that it’s important you show up even when you’re not at your best, when things happened in your personal life. The value of showing up. And there were many different truckers that had the same sort of attitude, and approach that we baseball players have. And the challenges are very similar that you are away from home, and you are juggling time schedules and then deadlines to meet and then those sorts of things.
Cal Ripken Jr:
And I was just thought it was good that the principle of showing up and the work ethic is right there with all the truckers and with America in many ways. And I enjoy hearing those stories.
Wendy Miller:
That’s really great. Are there any of the qualities that you mentioned a little while ago that you think specifically pertain to truck drivers?
Cal Ripken Jr:
Yeah, some friends that, there were many baseball players that washed out, went into the trucking industry. So a couple of guys that we came back for anniversaries like in 1980, in Charlotte we had a championship team. There was two on that team, I think that drove a truck. It’s the grinding out mentality. It’s the stubbornness sometimes. It’s the standing up for what you believe in. And sometimes doing things that aren’t expected of you. And so to me, if I remember correctly, those two guys that turned out to go into the trucking industry, they were talking about the need to grind it out mentally, and physically, each and every day is almost the same.
Wendy Miller:
That’s very true. And those guys and girls do it every day. So do you have a specific message you’d like to give to them?
Cal Ripken Jr:
No, I mean, it made me feel really good that you could be counted on each and every day by your teammates to play. And I think that’s a principle and value that all of us should hold on to. And I know that we count on the trucking industry, many people counting on the trucking industry. And in some ways you don’t want to let anyone down. And so it’s that, you can rely on me, you can count on me. I’ll be there.
Wendy Miller:
Great. Well, thank you for being here today, and I really appreciate it. And this is Wendy Miller for the Trucker News Channel.

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