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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Junior G Wade Taylor IV (4) covers his face after a missed point during Texas A&Ms game against Arkansas on Feb. 20, 2024 at Reed Arena. (Jaime Rowe/The Battalion)
When it rains, it pours
February 24, 2024
Ali Camarillo (2) waiting to see if he got the out during Texas A&Ms game against UIW on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 at Olsen Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Four for four
February 20, 2024
Dr. Weston Porter (top left) and researchers from the breast cancer lab. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Weston Porter)
New A&M research initiative provides cutting-edge cancer treatments
J.M. Wise, News Reporter • April 8, 2024

It has been 20 months since Michelle Pozzi, Ph.D, of Texas A&M’s Biochemistry and Biophysics department was diagnosed with cancer. However,...

Light Middleweight boxers Francis Cristal and Frank Chiu throw crosses during Farmers Fight Night on Thursday, April 4th, 2024, at Reed Arena.
‘One day there’s going to be a ring in the middle of Kyle Field’
Zoe May, Editor in Chief • April 11, 2024

“Throw the 1, follow with the 2!” “Keep your hands up!” “Tie him up!” It was the sixth fight of the night. The crowd was either...

Students, residents commemorates Eid Al-Fitr
Lasan Ukwatta Liyanage, Life & Arts Writer • April 11, 2024

This year's Eid Al-Fitr celebration, hosted by Texas A&M’s Muslim Student Association, or MSA, drew over 1,500 attendees on Wednesday,...

Student housing located right outside off campus boundaries on George Bush Drive. 
Guest Commentary: An open letter to City Hall
Ben Crockett, Guest Contributor • April 11, 2024

City Council, As representatives of the Texas Aggie Classes of 2024, 2025, 2026 and 2027, we write to you today to urge a reconsideration...

Reflections of a quiet, steady star

Children need heroes. In some cases, like now, adults do too. They look to someone to set an example, to act in a manner for people to strive to emulate.
In these extraordinary times, we have been given a view of some real heroes in New York and Washington. In more normal times, athletes are often called upon to carry the mantle of a role model.
Sometime in the next couple of weeks (depending on how Major League Baseball resets the schedule), Cal Ripken Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles will take the field for the last time as a player. With his retirement, America will lose one of the truly great people in professional sports, and an era will come to an end.
Certain things, in retrospect, indicate the end of one’s childhood. For me, no retrospect is needed. When Ripken hangs up his jersey for the last time, the end of his 20-year career will eliminate the last vestiges of my childhood.
When Ripken first put on an Orioles uniform, Ronald Reagan had been president for less than a year. The Soviet Union was still our enemy. There was no CNN, and the Internet would have been considered a science-fiction fantasy. For two decades, Ripken made a very healthy living playing a game. He played it so well and with such consistency that it was literally impossible to remove him from the lineup for 16 seasons.
Ripken’s amazing consecutive-games-played streak of 2,632 games overshadows his other feats. He is one of only a handful of players to have both 3000 hits and 400 home runs in a career.
In 1990, he nearly went the entire season without making a fielding error, and his fielding percentage for that season is the best ever for a shortstop.
When Ripken came to the major leagues, “big” men did not play shortstop. Small, quick players, usually with little hitting ability, played there. Ripken’s excellence redefined the concept of a shortstop, allowing players like Alex Rodriguez and Nomar Garciaparra to follow him.
While tall and strong, Ripken was not the most gifted player. He succeeded through hard work and great intelligence. He would change batting stances in the middle of an at-bat if he found something that worked better.
Slower than most shortstops, Ripken studied opposing hitters constantly, learning their tendencies. As a result, he was rarely out of position when a ball was hit to shortstop – or, later in his career, third base.
What separates Ripken from his peers the most was the class and modesty with which he approached his success. Unlike some players who crave the spotlight and refer to themselves in the third person, Ripken is rather shy and awkward in public.
In spite of this, he has always taken time for the fans. He signs autographs before and after games, in many cases for hours on end. He has established several charities in the Baltimore area. His classy, blue-collar approach to baseball has won over not only the hard-nosed people of Baltimore, but the nation as well.
I have never seen an Orioles game where Cal Ripken was not in the lineup. From childhood to college, Cal Ripken was always on the field. It will be difficult to fathom listening to the radio or when the Orioles visit Texas and not hear the broadcasters say, “Well, here comes Cal.”
In the movie “Field of Dreams,” James Earl Jones said that baseball is a “symbol of all that was once good in America, and can be again.”
Cal Ripken was the walking manifestation of that ideal. I will miss Cal Ripken greatly. So will a nation in need of heroes.
Mark Passwaters is a senior political science major.

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