Last week, former Orioles great Cal Ripken, Jr.’s duties as a postseason television analyst for TBS took him to Los Angeles, where he caught up with former teammate Eddie Murray for dinner.
It was 30 years to the day when the pair sealed the Orioles’ last World Series title by winning Game 5 in 1983 with a 5-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies at Veterans Stadium. Murray hit two homers in the victory. Ripken caught the final out, a line drive off the bat of Garry Maddox that is an iconic image in Baltimore.
“Ironically, I had dinner with Eddie the other night and we were talking about those things,” Ripken said last week during a phone interview with The Baltimore Sun. “Looking back on all those wonderful things that happened during our careers to both of us, we had some wonderful moments on the field.”
Ripken and Murray obviously both went on to Hall of Fame careers and are two of the most revered Orioles to wear the uniform. Thirty years later, their numbers have been retired and statues of the two players stand in Camden Yards.
Ripken won the first of two American League Most Valuable Player awards that year, setting career highs in runs, hits and doubles that season. And despite later making a legendary name for himself with "The Streak," Ripken said last week that winning the World Series 30 years ago was the pinnacle.
“Still, winning the World Series is the biggest moment,” Ripken said. “It’s what you dream of as a kid. You often wonder what it feels like. And when it actually happens to you, I caught that last out, there’s a fulfillment of satisfaction and joy. You’re very content like you’ve done it. That feeling is way better than all the other feelings you can have on the baseball field.”
Asked whether it feels like three decades since that time, Ripken said it doesn’t, because the memories are still fresh.
“Yeah, it’s weird,” said Ripken, 53. “It doesn’t seem like 30 years ago. It’s actually pretty hard for me to say that, because in some ways, you can pull that feeling right back up. But yeah, physically it’s been a long time.”