I grew up an Orioles fan. My favorite player of all time was Cal Ripken Jr. I collected every baseball card of his. I met him once, and got his autograph as a kid after a game at Camden Yards. I was there the day he tied the consecutive games streak, and I have the shirt that says "I was there" to prove it. I watched the next night from home when he broke the streak. I drank milk because Cal Ripken did milk commercials. When Ripken eventually retired, I said that my first trip to Cooperstown would be when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

I've still never been to Cooperstown.

Ripken retired at the end of the 2001 season. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007. By the time 2007 rolled around, I didn't care at all about the Hall of Fame, even if it meant seeing my favorite ...

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