Cal Ripken Jr.: Well, I have a controlling kind of personality, and so early on I wanted to kind of control things so I could deal with them, right? Anywhere if the media was getting out of control, in a sense, I had to bring some control to that. So during the early part of that year, when I went into a series, we developed a routine where we talked to the media for the first day, and it would buy me an opening for the next two days where I could keep things sort of normal.
But as the season went on there was this finish line that started to develop. Now, I never played to a finish line, I always played today, to play the game, and played as hard as I could, and didn’t worry about being injured, and all that, and then got up the next day and did the same thing. But then all of a sudden, during that timeframe, there was a finish line of celebration that was being planned, and I didn’t like that. I didn’t want to think about that. I wanted to stay in the mindset that we have a challenge today, we have a team challenge, and I’m going to try to meet that challenge of the day and be there for my teammates. That’s the simple approach that I used.
But there is pressure that started to develop, expectation to get to a finish line to break Lou Gehrig’s record. And I tried to absorb that. There was some people that said, well, you should just play to the tying game and then take the next game, and then give tribute to Lou Gehrig, and I thought that would be the most alien thing to do because I didn’t do it because I tried to break Lou Gehrig’s record. I play because I think that’s the job, you should come to the ballpark ready to play, and I think that was an honorable position to have. That you’re an every day player and you’re trying to help your team win. So, the emotions started to build and I didn’t know how to deal with all these things except try to ignore it.