Sure, he hasn't played baseball for a decade, but as anyone who has ever been to the Baltimore area knows, Cal Ripken Jr. is still one of the state's most beloved figures. So it was no surprise that students at the University of Maryland College Park seemed ecstatic to be treated to some life lessons from the Iron Man himself at their graduation, where he spoke as the commencement speaker.
Sprinkling his speech with stories from his and his famous father's experiences in baseball, Ripken spoke a lot about recognizing skills, developing talent and being a "do-er."
"You should learn from all of your experiences, no matter how trivial you think they are," he said.
He also encouraged students to have the right attitude when entering the work force, illustrating with stories of his diva-like behavior through the minor leagues and even into his rookie season.
All of that, he says, was changed when he got beaned.
"I was struggling mightily in my rookie season and I was miserable," he said. "I was blaming others and stalled by my attitude. That shot to my head knocked some sense into me."
Laying on the X-ray table, he said, he began to remember some advice veteran player Ken Singleton had given him earlier that week.
"The conclusion I came to was it wasn't all about me and the world was certainly not my enemy," he said.
Skip ahead to the 6:02 mark of the video for the start of Ripken's speech: