I am here to talk about the past...
Congratulations to Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken, Jr. for their election to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Well-deserved for both players, whose careers and post-baseball lives have been shining examples amidst a muddied steroid-tainted mess.
I was fortunate to see both players play, which was inspiring even at the end of their careers. During Camden Yards' inaugural season back in 1992, I remember going back on two separate occasions smack dab in the middle of The Streak. The love for Cal Ripken from the fans was impressive, even if the love for Billy Ripken (and Cal Sr.) was not quite at that level. And even as a young kid, I had a friend in junior high who was a big Orioles fan, and he would drag me and his father down to the Big A whenever the O's came to town.
For Gwynn, I recall sneaking down to the Murph a couple of times to see him bat. I think it was in his final season, when I went down to watch him play a home game along with Orel (from SoSG, not the real Orel). If I recall correctly, Gwynn didn't start but he did end up pinch-hitting late in that game (and got a hit). And if I recall correctly, Orel was in the bathroom and missed the whole thing. Oh, well.
Congrats to both, and thanks for the memories!