Twenty-five years after he broke Lou Gehrig’s record, what Cal Ripken Jr. really remembers is how relatable it was to fans.

No, not being able to play that many Major League Baseball games in a row. 

But the basic attitude that went behind it.

“It is really interesting, everybody could relate to work ethic, or showing up every day,” he said of his consecutive game record on Late Night With Locks on Friday night. “So the coolest part of that whole thing, the celebration, was not breaking Lou Gehrig’s record was everybody telling me about their streak and why it was important to them. And that sort of work ethic, people really relate to.”

Even in this time of COVID-19, Ripken said, there were lessons he thought were applicable to getting through the tough times. 

“It challenges you,” he said. “In the same sort of way that the streak would … you have to say, 'OK, let me win today, let me win the day. And if I win today, tomorrow will come.'”

The streak, he said, took the same kind of attitude. He leaned on advice he got from his father, Cal Ripken Sr.

“Dad used to say ‘you can’t play tomorrow’s game until it gets here. You can’t replay yesterday’s game, even though you can learn from it. So you might as well play today’s game,'" he said. "It was a good way of saying focus on what you can do now.”

He thinks those lessons are applicable now to everyone staying home. Even though the crisis may feel like it’s gone on forever, he recommends just keeping yourself as sharp and busy as possible.

“Be ready to come back and control each one of your days the best you can,” he said.


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