NEW YORK, NY (105.3 THE FAN) – Man has this Super Bowl been filled with guests! Roger Craig, Jack Youngblood, Deion Sanders – but I didn’t name my son after any of them.
As we were doing our G-Bag Nation show today, I notice right in front of me on The NFL Network set with Michael Irvin is Cal Ripken Jr.
I’m not in awe of many athletes. I was blessed enough to compete against the best in baseball and that takes the larger than life out of seeing an athlete. One of the players I would have loved to face was “The Iron Man” Cal Ripken Jr. Our playing careers never intersected.
My wife and I have 3 beautiful kids. They look like their Mom – thank God. Our youngest child was born on January 29th 2010. While watching the baseball playoffs in 2009 I was pondering names for my soon to be son. On TNT pops on Cal Ripken Jr. and it hits me, this was my favorite player as a kid and I know my wife won’t let me call our kid Dirk, so I ask about the name Cal. My wife says she likes it and rest is history.
Today, January 29th I see Cal Ripken Jr and I have to get his attention. I yell “Cal”, like I’m so important. He looks at me and I motion for him to come over. To my surprise he does. I tell him who I am quickly and then say, today is my son’s 4th birthday and his name is Cal, named after you. Ripken’s eyes light up and he says “what an honor – and tell Cal happy birthday.” He was quickly pulled away for his next interview but I was so happy and still am.
I named my son after a man I had never met but respected as a baseball player and a person.
Today on my Cal’s 4th birthday I meet the man I named him after and he was as nice as a guy as I imagined him to be.
Happy Birthday Cal. I love you and Cal Ripken Jr say Happy Birthday too!
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