durable ole Cal Ripkin just passed another baseball milestone, adding
to his already stuffed locker of accolades. How does this aged artifact
of baseball keep ticking?
in the year 2000, an almost 40-year-old Cal Ripken (born August 24,
1960, in Harve de Grace, Maryland) finally did it. On April 15, he
smacked a crisp single to center field in Minneapolis for his 3,000th
career hit. Ho hum, another record for the third baseman based at
Camden Yard. We watched back in 1995 as he demolished the consecutive
games played and consecutive innings played records set by the Iron
Man, Lou Gehrig. Once the notion of surpassing the insurmountable
record set by Gehrig was as odd as going to the Moon back, but Cal
did it. Now he joins the baseball elite. Now 23rd (tied with the late,
great Roberto Clemente, at least for a few moments) on the all-time
hit list, Cal will conceivably move up several spots this year. What
in the world drives this ball player?
one thing, Calís dad, the late Cal Ripken Senior, was quite a player
in his own right. At one point, Cal Senior managed both Cal Junior
and his brother Billy for the Baltimore Orioles. Nepotism aside, the
trio did well for the orange and black bird franchise. Cal Junior
manages a retrograde Saturn in Capricorn, which symbolizes the father
(and contributes to his early greying). A strong sense of dedication,
discipline and drill (both Capricorn and Saturn) probably took some
of the fun out of playing catch with Dad as a youngster. Of course,
there were all those other major leaguers to play with, instead of
dad. But you gotta look up to the old man, especially when he becomes
your boss. Thatís the ultimate in Saturnís performance pressure.
Cal, the Junior, that is, holds many planets in fastidious, perfectionist
Virgo. With or without a dad in baseball, this engine would have driven
Cal hard to be the best he could be, no matter what. You can bet no
criticism stung along the way like the criticism Cal could dish out
to himself. His Sun (core self) in Virgo aligns with powerful Pluto.
This presence gives Cal a nuclear engine to boot. No wonder he can
go on forever like the Energizer Bunny.
Cal edged up against the record for consecutive games played, critics
chastised him for keeping himself in the game even when only marginally
fit. But after a certain point, who would even think of telling Cal
he couldnít play? After all, he is Cal Ripken. He hits well, as his
over 3,000 safeties suggest. His fielding has been outstanding, even
measured by a Virgoís yardstick. Why not play him? His very presence,
fueled by Pluto, inspires, motivates and spreads enthusiasm as only
the influential Pluto can render.
of Calís other Virgo planets is his Venus (planet of love and relationships).
Venus actually likes Virgo. Itís pristine, clean cut (Iíll sayóRipken
could do soap commercials with a face like that). Thereís a likeable
quality to the image of this kind of organic Venus. None of that
offensive, ďholier thanĒ stuff you can get with other placements.
also has the good fortune of squaring (making a 90-degree angle
to) Mars (energy, action) in Gemini. The square in astrology tends
to be interpreted as a difficult angle. It is, but it also creates
wonderful doses of dynamic tension. And this type of tension possesses
its own version of attraction. People with this contact arouse othersósome
in a good way, the rest in an agitated way. Itís hot either way
you slice it. Funny thing about Calís Mars in Gemini (the sign of
the twins), though. Some folks both like and dislike him for the
same traits. Heís so dang good at what he does. You gotta love him
for that. And envy certainly follows suit.
Hat Tricks in Baseball
that tricky Mars in Gemini has another attribute, that of the sibling
rivalry. You wonder how Cal and Billy got along with Dad, while
Dad was the head honcho. Did Dad have favorites? Cal outlasted Billy
and pretty much anyone else playing at the same time. Actually,
the brothers were in different leagues, despite being on the same
has yet another trick up its sleeveless uniform. That is an odd
angle to Saturn known to astrologers as a quincunx (itís not as
bad as it sounds, really!). This aspect brings involuntary adjustments.
Mars, the raw energy planet, makes a quincunx to Saturn, the planet
of extra and very early batting practice, relentless games of pepper
to quicken instincts, shadow batting to straighten a crooked swing
and unending viewing of hitting replays to find a slouch in the
stance in order to end a slump. Whatís Ripkenís trick? Itís not
a trick. As he lifts his hat to the fans after his 3,000th hit,
remember his gimmick. Itís simply drill to the verge of excess to
perfect the techniques.
inspiration, the man, the monolith in Baltimore, the legend of endurance
and persistence shows once and for all to play the game is a lot
of work. Hatís off to you, Cal.