Baseball loses a good one

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 21, 2001

Unlike Charles Barkley, Baltimore’s Cal Ripken Jr. doesn’t mind being a role model, and according to Miss-Lou area coaches, he is one of the best.

Ripken, baseball’s iron man with a streak of 2,632 consecutive games played, announced earlier this week he was retiring at the end of the season, and the news was not something Miss-Lou coaches wanted to accept.

&uot;He’s not your typical modern-day ball player,&uot; Vidalia skipper Johnny Lee Hoffpauir said of the 16 time All-Star. &uot;He plays for the love of the game. He always came to play, even when he was hurt. You just don’t have that many players like him anymore.&uot;

ACCS head coach Gill Morris said Ripken is one of a dying breed of players who are not in the game because of the money or the fame.

&uot;(In) this ‘me and I’ world – he’s doesn’t belong in that group,&uot; Morris said. &uot;He was Mr. Consistency. His attitude was I’ll be there, and I’ll do my job. Those are admirable traits you don’t see as often in professional players anymore. I admire him very much, and it is sad that type of player is disappearing from the game.&uot;

For Trinity’s David King, Ripken’s retirement means his childhood hero will no longer be delivering the clutch hit or the great defensive play.

&uot;I’m proud to say he was my hero and favorite player when I was growing up,&uot; King said. &uot;I’ll always remember what he meant to the game of baseball. He just played the game. When you saw him in the paper or on the news it was because of something he had done on the field, not for some type of trouble he had gotten into off it. There were no holdouts for more money or scandals. He is the clean-cut, All-American hero, and he is the type of player and person young players should look up to.&uot;

Hoffpauir said the loss of Ripken means there is one less role model for today’s young players.

&uot;I really wish more kids would look up to the Cal Ripkens of the world rather than the Dennis Rodmans.&uot;