It’s been a few days but I needed it to recover from an incredible weekend. See, I had been waiting to watch Cal Ripken be inducted since I suppose 1987 when I believed he was a lock back then. Silly? Sure. But that is how much of a fan I am of him. Throughout the rest of his career he continued to prove to me as a fan that I was right. I’m not going to write about his accolades as it’s been done so much over the past couple of weeks. But we all know it’s not just hype and he and Tony Gwynn are all about what role models are.
The Big Day
I bought my camping tickets a while back, lucky I did…it sold out with Ripken fans at every site. We decided to drive into Cooperstown around 2am and somehow we found a parking lot about a mile from the induction site. Hoping we wouldn’t be forced to move come morning, we parked and slept in the van. By the time 5am rolled around the lot was packed and it seemed our early bird mentality paid off.
We walked to the induction site, claimed our spot and walked another mile into town. I couldn’t believe how many people were there. Didn’t see any HOFers but wan’t expecting any. It seemed like all I was doing when we got back was waiting. The skies were threatening all day and then about an hour before the ceremony it cleared up and I began to cook in the heat. I didn’t care.
After all of the HOFers were introduced it was time for the big speeches. I wasn’t disappointed. Both Gwynn and Ripken offered inspiring words and even Rip got me choked up at the end of his.
When he finished, I had a sense of relief for some reason and I also knew it was an ending of what I had waited for after all of these years. What I wrote may not sound that exciting, but to me, it was a dream come true and I was glad to be part of something so huge. 75,000 people and I was there.