There's just something special about wearing No. 8 in Baltimore.
Orioles legend Cal Ripken wore that number on his back for 2,632 consecutive games, a record that will almost certainly never be broken. He was named an All-Star 19 times during his time in Baltimore, along with having two AL MVP awards, two Gold Gloves and eight Silver Sluggers to his name.
While Ripken's No. 8 will be honored in Baltimore forever, there's a new No. 8 chasing his glory. That would be Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson.
In just his second season and first full year as a starter, Jackson took the NFL by storm. The recently turned 23-year-old led Baltimore to an AFC-best 14-2 record while leading the NFL in touchdown passes with 36. The likely MVP broke Michael Vick's single-season quarterback rushing yards record this season, too, while only committing seven turnovers on the year.
"It’s his time, though," Ripken told The Athletic. "He is No. 8. He’s the No. 8 in Baltimore now."
Ripken's praise for Baltimore's new No. 8 didn't stop there.
"I was always excited to watch the Ravens, but I mean, you’re particularly excited seeing some of the things he does," Ripken said on Jackson. “You think you’re gonna see something that you haven’t seen before. He’s making people miss him and fall down with some of his moves."
This past offseason, Jackson threw out the first pitch at an Orioles game with a custom No. 8 jersey on his back. Jackson thanked Ripken for letting him "borrow" his jersey for the day.
Mr. Cal, I would like to Thank you for letting me borrow your #Orioles number tonight. Please know I’m working & striving to be the next great 8 in Baltimore. #RavensFlock😈 #Truss🧟♂️ pic.twitter.com/i4AHSjfHtk— Lamar Jackson (@Lj_era8) July 18, 2019
Jackson has plenty of years to go to match Ripken's longevity, but there's a tremendous amount of respect from both No. 8's in the Charm City.
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