Cal Ripken was at the height of his popularity in 1995. Some players would have hid from the mobs of fans that wanted an autograph or short conversation. Ripken signed into the wee hours nearly every night, helping win back legions of fans to a game hit hard by the 1994 labor dispute.
He signed slowly, carefully and with a Sharpie…blowing on the wet ink until it dried into a special keepsake for any fan lucky enough to be on the receiving end.
Ripken’s good works were legendary with fans, especially in that season —one remembered fondly by Baltimore Sun columnist Peter Schmuck.