SI Vault
September 11, 1995
Cal Ripken Jr. has another streak going: consecutive days of being a class act.BOB CHESKE, WORTH, Ill.
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September 11, 1995


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Cal Ripken Jr. has another streak going: consecutive days of being a class act.

The Streak
After reading Tim Kurkjian's article (Man of Iron, Aug. 7), I realized how special Cal Ripken Jr. is. Everyone should be aware of what Ripken has done for baseball, not only this year but also throughout his career. He plays the game the way it should be played, with respect—not only for baseball but also for the fans.
SHAWN KILLEBREW, Carol Stream, Ill.

It's good to see a superior ballplayer who is also a loving husband and father. Ripken is the only man worthy of taking Gehrig's place in the record books.

Tim Kurkjian stated that "Ripken holds the major league record for home runs by a shortstop, with 318 through Sunday [July 30]. That's 41 more than the Chicago Cubs' Ernie Banks hit at short." I hope that no one will conclude from this that Ripken is the better power-hitting shortstop. While Ripken has averaged 23.8 homers, 90.7 RBIs and a .456 slugging percentage each year, Mr. Cub averaged 37 homers, 107 RBIs and a .550 slugging percentage in the eight years he played shortstop (including five years with 40 or more home runs). The most homers Ripken has ever hit in a year is 34.

My favorite memory of Ripken is of his dancing ability. In the early '80s, when I still lived in the Baltimore-Washington area, McDonald's used Ripken and several Oriole teammates in a commercial in which they sang and danced, using bats as props. Ripken's "extension" (a favorite dance term) was exceptional—he finished every move before going on to the next step. With his work ethic, he probably approached this task as he does all others: He practiced. He's a natural athlete and, even better, a natural gentleman.
LINDA C. MEREDITH, Floresville, Texas

I am more convinced than ever that baseball needs to implement interleague play. Because I have lived in Montreal all my life, I have not had the opportunity to see the Orioles take the field. So even though Cal Ripken has played in more than 2,100 consecutive games, I have yet to see one.

John Elway
The physical pounding that Denver quarterback John Elway has endured because of the mediocre talent surrounding him has often been overlooked (One More Drive, Aug. 7). I hope when he finally hangs up his cleats, he will be remembered as a once-in-a-lifetime talent whose entertainment value will never be matched.
MONTE RESCH, Arcadia, Calif.

Jim Gund's photo of four-year-old Juliana Elway following her father, John, ranks with the memorable paintings of Norman Rockwell in The Saturday Evening Post.
H. LEE POWELL JR., Haverhill, Mass.

In your apotheosis of John Elway, you forgot one thing: a photo of him walking on water.
JOAN MARY MACEY, Binghamton, N.Y.

It is ludicrous for corporations to pay five-figure fees for sports celebrities' tired clich�s, hidden under the guise of business savvy (Words to Win By, Aug. 7). Anyone who thinks these sports lecturers are sages rather than entertainers is gullible.

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