Thursday morning Hall of Famer and Baltimore Orioles icon Cal Ripken Jr. revealed he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in February. He made the announcement during a conference call with reporters, including Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports. Ripken said he is now cancer-free after having surgery in March and undergoing treatment.
"There was no reason for me to think I had any issues," Ripken said during the conference call according to MLB.com's Joe Trezza. "The surgery couldn't have gone better. The outcome couldn't have gone better, and I have resumed everything I was doing before. It's been a pretty miraculous few months."
"If you are going to get the news, you want to get it when it's contained and its early," Ripken added. "Sometimes we as guys avoid that or think we'll go to the doctor when we need to. I thought maybe my story, as lucky as it is, could encourage or bring the awareness. You should get checked. You should go to the doctors. You should do all the things necessary to catch this early."
Ripken, 60 later this month, is on the short list of the best shortstops in baseball history. The Maryland native played his entire 21-year career with the Orioles and was inducted into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot in 2007. He retired as a .276/.340/.447 hitter with 431 home runs and 3,184 hits.
During a career that spanned 1981-2001, Ripken won a Rookie of the Year award (1982) and two MVPs (1983 and 1991). He went to 19 All-Star Games, all consecutively from 1983-2001. Ripken won a World Series ring with Baltimore in 1983.
Ripken is the O's franchise leader in many categories, including WAR (95.9), games (3,001), runs (1,647), hits (3,184), home runs (431), doubles (603), and RBI (1,695).
In Sept. 1995, Ripken set a new MLB record by playing in his 2,131st consecutive game, breaking Lou Gehrig's record. Ripken would eventually extend the streak to 2,632 games.