THE RIPKEN WAY by Sr. Ripken


A Manual for Baseball and Life
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A great baseball coach, manager, and father offers what may pass for wise tips on traversing the base paths of baseball and life. Sports Illustrated editor Burke should have done more designated hitting for Ripken Sr., who spews worn-out truisms with the ease of tobacco juice from the dugout steps. Ripken has been an exemplary minor-league manager, a fair major-league one, an outstanding coach for the Baltimore Orioles, and a Hall of Fame father. Two of his sons played for him in the Birds” infield, Billy and the legendary but now past-his-prime Cal Jr., who broke Lou Gehrig’s record for consecutive games played. Unfortunately, someone decided to extend this baseball booklet into a tract about general wisdom, and Sr.’s greatest strength, parenting, does not bat cleanup. Of baseball as a bonding agent between the generations, for example, he can only say, “When Cal was young, he—d ride along in the car with me to the ballpark.” Jr.’s streak, a total of 2,632 games dating back to May 1982, figures prominently here, and Sr. insists that Jr. wasn—t penciled into the lineup card during its last seasons for the gimmick. For the most part, however, he dishes out tired advice about the importance of practice, versatility, confidence, adjustments, and competitiveness. There are too many pages in this skimpy book, two-thirds of them filled with clichÇd graphics and large-type pull quotes repeating points from the hackneyed text—much like the overdone instant replays on new stadium scoreboards. Ripken gets more interesting when he expresses opinions. These include: real ballplayers don—t go to college; the DH is good but inter- league play isn—t; a woman will break into the majors; and nobody will break The Streak. There are a few worthwhile moments, but most of this compendium of Oriole wisdom is for the birds.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-671-02775-1
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Pocket
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1999