All-Star Game return sparks memories of Cal Ripken Jr. and Alex Rodriguez

Cal RIpken Jr. and Alex Rodriguez

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Cal Ripken Jr., most known as “The Iron Man,” recently shared his feelings about Alex Rodriguez‘s gesture during the 2001 All-Star Game, revealing that he wasn’t entirely thrilled with it. The All-Star Game returned to Seattle this year, returning memories of Ripken’s final appearance in the Midsummer Classic, where he was awarded the MVP title.

On Tuesday night’s Fox TV broadcast, Ripken and his former All-Star teammate, Rodriguez, reunited on the field. While discussing their iconic All-Star moment from 22 years ago, Ripken added an interesting twist to the story. It is also important to mention that Rodriguez expressed regret for ending his friendship with some of his former Yankees colleagues during an interview with ESPN nine months ago.

Ripken and Rodriguez were selected as starters for the American League team in 2001 to set the stage. At age 40, Ripken was positioned at third base, while Rodriguez, only 25 years old at the time, was assigned to shortstop. In a gesture of respect towards Ripken’s illustrious career, which initially began as a shortstop, Rodriguez insisted that they swap positions so Ripken could start the game at his original work.

What did Ripken Jr. say to Alex Rodriguez?

Alex Rodriguez and Cal Ripken Jr.
The Mirror

Although this move was widely perceived as respectful, Ripken confessed on Tuesday that he was slightly upset about it back then. “To be honest with you, I was kinda (expletive) at you,” Ripken admitted, pointing out that he hadn’t played shortstop in a long time and was wearing a much larger glove designed for a third baseman.

7/10/01: Alex Rodriguez decides to switch positions with Cal Ripken during the first inning of Ripken's 19th and final All-Star Game.

Ripken’s remarks amused the announcers, including Kevin Burkhardt from Fox and Hall of Famers Derek Jeter and David Ortiz. However, television viewers were given a glimpse of Ripken’s lingering resentment towards Rodriguez, although he was also relieved that he didn’t embarrass himself defensively during the game.

Offensively, Ripken had a stellar performance in the 2001 All-Star Game, hitting a memorable home run off the Dodgers’ Chan Ho Park and ultimately earning the MVP honors in the American League’s 4-1 victory.

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