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Cal Ripken Jr. on Resilience + Discipline (ep. 274)

Cal Ripken Jr

In honor of the return of MLB baseball this week, we’re thrilled to have Major League Hall of Fame shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. join John O’Leary on the Live Inspired Podcast.

In honor of the return of MLB baseball this week, we’re thrilled to have Major League Hall of Fame shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. as our guest.

Cal is the epitome of dedication + perseverance. In his 21-year career, he earned his way into the record books numerous times, most notably when he broke Lou Gehrig’s longstanding record of consecutive games played – with 2,130 games. Today, Cal is an author, speaker + philanthropist.

Our conversation will surprise you – we talk about baseball but even more about life outside of the ballpark. You’ll hear why Cal values persistently showing up despite difficulty and how he came to believe that the best is yet to come.

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  • September 6, 1995: Cal played in his 2,130-game to break Lou Gehrig’s longstanding MLB record of consecutive games played.
  • “There was a human connection between me and the people in the stand that was unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced.”
  • Cal believes that baseball nation applauded Cal’s streak because everyone was looking for something to believe in and everyone can relate to a streak.
  • Do your job and do it well. Umpire attendant Ernie Tyler did not miss a home game for 31 years and worked 3,819 consecutive games. He missed his first game to attend Cal’s National Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
  • I share a portion of Cal’s gracious speech. Watch it in its entirety here.
  • “Once your confidence develops you’ll start to see your true potential.”
  • During his rookie season, manager Earl Weaver and player Reggie Jackson were empathic to Cal and helped him build his confidence.
  • “My dad kept me grounded by saying ‘you’re an all-star player now, but the true test is over time.”
  • All good things come to an end: Cal voluntarily ended his streak at 2,632.
  • 9/11 happened during Cal’s last year in professional baseball and helped put things into perspective.
  • Cal shares how Curtis Martin’s story moved + inspired him. Watch Curtis’ Hall of Fame speech.
  • Take a general feeling of help and focus it in a direction that is important.
  • Learn more about the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation.


1. What is the best book you’ve ever read? Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.

2. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today? Passion and immersion.

3. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be? A letter I wrote to myself in September 1987 when my consecutive inning streak was stopped.

4. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be? Lou Gehrig.

5. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? You belong. Believe in yourself. You have the power to do whatever you want.

6. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self? Don’t worry so much. Try things. Experience things.

7. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read? To be remembered at all is pretty good. Be remembered as a gamer.


My new book IN AWE is now available… and became an instant bestseller! Learn how to rediscover your childlike sense of wonder to unleash inspiration, meaning and joy. Visit ReadInAwe.com today! 


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