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September 08, 1995 - Image 22

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-09-08

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

22 -- The Michigan Daily -- Friday,
Sporting Views:
Ripken a
tinue her o
X1nali of
our hearts
aiySports Writer
Anyone not see the Cal Ripken-fest
on ESPN Wednesday night?
I think all of us saw at least one of
the 40 standing ovations. And how
many times do we need to Joe
PiMaggio standing in a guest box at
Camden Yards, a man who has no tie
'to Ripken other than the fact that he
,too holds a Major League record.
That's not to say that Ripken's
lauds are not deserved, because they
pare. Even if you're not a baseball fan,
;or even a sports fan for that matter,
you can still appreciate what Calvin
Edwin Ripken Jr. has done.
Playing 2,131 games in a row is
impressive. How many other sports
tigures do you know that have given
so much to a sport that has given so
little back in return.
Can you say that you've been to
2,130 classes in a row?
My streak ended at nine.
And possibly the most amazing thing
about Ripken is that he continued the
streak for more than just his own
kpersonal desires. Whether or not you
Think that his iron man streak is a
saving grace for baseball, Cal Ripken
sure did.
In his mind, and not by his own
'devices, the streak was something for
the fans more than anyone else.
And when game No. 2,131 became
official in the middle of the fifth
inning Wednesday night, the first
thing Ripken did was to head to the
stands. He hugged his wife, Kelly,
,who has probably had to deal with
almost as much stress as Cal has. He
gave his hat to his daughter and there
'be stood, wearing a shirt that read
"2,130+ kisses for Dad", cradling his
,two-year-old son in his arms, the boy
who nearly broke the streak simply
because he was born.
Lucky for baseball, the youngest
IRipken was born on an off-day and
Cal didn't have to miss a game to
witness the birth of his son.
This is all not to say that Lou
"Gerhig's steak means little. Gerhig
was certainly the better ballplayer. He
was a slightly better hitter and had
much more power than Ripken.
Gerhig's 185 RBI in one season is
Wtill second place all-time. Only a
debilitating and fatal disease kept
Gerhig from achieving more.
You can debate back and forth who
had a 1'-rder time playing 2,130 games
1P row. But, for all intents and
purposes, the answer is unimportant.
Only a truly great player would
ever be left in the starting lineup for
every game in 14 seasons. The fact
That Ripken plays shortstop, the most
demanding position on the diamond,
and is a Gold Glove winner further

roves that he is one of baseball's all-
time greats.
Ripken has never lived up to his
own exacting standards. Nothing is
ever good enough for him. He is
competitive. He is persistent. He is
driven.
Ripken has earned the respect of
pveryone in baseball -something
;that no one else can say that they
have ever had. Wednesday night,
every member of the Angels' stood
on the top of the dugout, more in awe
of the hero than in celebration of his
tremendous achievement.
The umpires clapped as well in a
'rare display of admiration. But if
anyone deserves it, Ripken does.
Children who were born after the
streak began praised him.
s Flashbulbs popped not just during
;the mid-fifth inning celebration, but
throughout the game and long after it
was over.
Curtis Goodwin, Bobby Bonilla
and a handful of other teammates
toted video cameras because they
,knew the moment would be forever
special.
After four curtain calls, that
obviously made Ripken more
uncomfortable than proud, he took off
around the park. slapping hands with
fans lucky enough to own a front-row
seat, being careful to never miss a
child's outstretched hand, not because
lhe thought it would be a good PR
jnove, but because that's just Cal.
He didn't seem to want to take a lap
on the dirt track that surrounds the park,
but he did it for the fans - he knew
how much the streak meant to them.
NP hit hnme nine n thre deAnfaaVeu-

September 8, 1995

Sampras'serve too much for Black

NEW YORK (AP)- Pete Sampras
charged into the U.S. Open semifinals
Thursday, closing out game after game
with aces that served as exclamation
points, from a 128 mph "Hello!" to a
128 mph "See ya later!"
Among his 22 aces through a whip-
ping wind,seven flew past a dizzy Byron
Black on the last point of Sampras'
servicegames, leaving theZimbabwean
with the memory of brute power that
lingered in his mind when he stepped
up to serve so much less emphatically.
Sampras punctuated the end of his 7-
6 (7-3), 6-4, 6-0 romp with an ace that
was just as fast as his first serve, show-
ing he was no less tired at the end of the
1 hour, 45 minute semifinal tuneup as
he was at the start.

The winner of the Open in 1990 and
'93, Sampras had only a little trouble in
the first set adjusting to Black's mild-
mannered game and two-fisted
groundstrokes. In his previous match,
Sampras had beaten a much different
player in serve-and-volley specialist
Todd Martin.
Once Sampras got used to Black's
style and cut down on his own errors,
there was nothing to impede his progress
one step closer to another Grand Slam
title.
"After I won the first two, there was
no reason to fool around at this point in
the tournament and take things for
granted," Sampras said. "The last set
was the best set I played all week. I
really started to pick up my serve. My

whole game kind of just came behind
it."
Sampras has played all manner of
players so far, including clay courter
Jaime Yzaga, big Mark Philippoussis,
Martin and now Black. It was an assort-
ment of styles that should prepare him
well for the final weekend, especially
after dropping only one set along the
way.
"If I am playing well, I am pretty
tough to beat," Sampras said. "My whole
game just revolves around my serve. If
I am serving well, that kind of lets the
rest of my game be a lot more confident
and I can hit my groundies a little
cleaner."
Black, a month shy of 26, sounded
like someone whohadjust had his party

spoiled. He had beaten No. 8 Michae
Stichtogetthisfar,andharbored dream
of another upset. But the story abou
how Sampras got knocked out of th
Open by a kid who learned to pla)
barefoot on a grass court in Zimbbwr
will have to wait.
"I was pretty much overpowere ou
there," Black said."I haven't played ii
that sort of swirling wind before, and
think Pete was used to that. And
serves alot better than I do.I was reall
struggling every time on my serve
"You know, in the other matches
felt really confident and I was buildir
confidence as I went along. Today, hi
really blew me off the court. I realI'
didn't have a weapon that could hur
him. So it is kind of a downer."

Sampras

Dexter-S not his usual self.
You suspect the salsa.
So you call Dr. Nusblatt
your family vet back home.
The call i scheap.
(Too bad about the COn Su ltaLiOn fee.)

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