Will Cal Ripken, Jr. ever return to his former team in any capacity? That’s the million-dollar question…and the Orioles legend finally shed some light on the subject at a recent book signing event in Florida.
Ripken was asked about what he’s up to now that his youngest child, Ryan, has headed off the University of South Carolina. Would that mean that we could possibly see a return to the Orioles in some capacity?
“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.”
What about becoming 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.”
Given that Anderson, one of Ripken’s closest friends when he was on the team, has been promoted to Vice President of Baseball Operations, does that make an Orioles return more appealing?
“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 tried to persuade Ripken to come back on board?
“Is he recruiting me? No I don’t think so…at least he hasn’t shown his hand yet if he was.”