The Iron Man’s kid brother is 55 now and just as bald as his Hall of Fame sibling. So how does one tell Cal and Bill Ripken apart? Bill is the one with the Emmy on his mantel, a trophy he earned in 2016 as outstanding sports personality (studio analyst) with the Major League Baseball Network, where he works. Indeed, these are heady times for the former Orioles infielder and Fallston resident and father of four whose book, “State of Play: The Old School Guide To New School Baseball” was published February 18.
Here are three things that you may not know about Ripken.
He’s a handyman at home
“I’ll tackle most projects, anything but plumbing and electricity because water messes up your house and electricity can kill you. I go to junk shops with my wife. Once, I found a rusty old Singer sewing machine with a foot pedal that I sanded, painted and put a new top on. My favorite TV show is “Flea Market Flip” (HGTV). I can take things that are pretty much on their last legs and bring them back to life.”
His hot corner is the kitchen
“I grow hot peppers and make my own hot sauce, which has spoiled me to the point that I can’t eat hot sauce made by anyone else. My plants are the three hottest peppers going: the Trinidad Scorpion, Carolina Reaper and Ghost Pepper. I use the sauce daily, but sparingly. When my wife makes turkey meatloaf, I make a little gravy bowl in the center of the mashed potatoes and add a few drops of hot sauce. I’ll tell you, it does not suck.”
Dad is always close at hand
“My father (Cal Sr., longtime Orioles coach and manager) died in 1999, but I still talk to him, though not out loud. I inherited quite a few things from him, like the pack rat mentality: ‘Never through anything away because one day you’ll need it.’ Some years ago, I said something and my sister came from the next room, looked at me and said, ‘I just wanted to make sure that was you and not Dad talking.’ I felt good about that. Having some of his mannerisms and saying things the way he did is not the worst thing in the world, that’s for sure.”