We have countless awesome sports photos in the archives here at The Baltimore Sun, and I have decided to share one with you each week in a regular feature called "Throwback Thursday." It’s All-Star week -- aka the most boring week on the sports calendar -- so I’m going with an Orioles All-Star memory this time.
Perhaps the most memorable All-Star moment in Orioles history was Cal Ripken Jr.’s last All-Star Game in 2001. Ripken was named the starting third baseman for the American League, but shortstop Alex Rodriguez, then with the Rangers, offered to switch positions with Ripken, who was baseball’s best shortstop in his prime.
Ripken, afraid he would make an embarrassing miscue, reluctantly agreed. But now he looks back fondly on Rodriguez’s tribute, which was recently voted by fans as the No. 2 moment in MLB All-Star Game history.
"At the time, it wasn't so meaningful because I was mad," Ripken told MLB.com. “I don’t like to be surprised. … Once it was over and I wasn't feeling embarrassed, it was the coolest thing ever."
This Baltimore Sun staff photo from July 11, 2001 shows Ripken and Rodriguez discussing the position switch in the first inning of that All-Star Game in Seattle. Ripken was wearing a microphone for the TV broadcast, so we know he didn’t say anything crazy to Rodriguez. But you can’t help but wonder what Ripken was really thinking as Rodriguez tried to talk him into moving to shortstop.
Take your best guess in the comments section.
Bonus: I have tickets to an upcoming Bayhawks game for whoever comes up with the best caption for this photo.