Pitchers and catchers have reported, which means that baseball season is almost here. In honor of the upcoming baseball season, I wanted to highlight a conspiracy theory that fans are still questioning worldwide.
If you have never heard of the Cal Ripken Conspiracy Theory, you are in for a treat! This story has sex, baseball, Hollywood, and technical difficulties all in one.
The Cal Ripken Conspiracy Theory is one of the craziest stories in baseball history that may actually be true…
Cal Ripken Jr. is known to baseball fans as “The Iron Man” for his starting streak of 2,632 games with the Baltimore Orioles. Ripken broke the record on September 6, 1995, dethroning Lou Gehrig’s mark of 2,130 consecutive starts.
Ripken’s record would not come to an end until September 20, 1998, when he stayed in the dugout for the Baltimore Orioles as the team’s starters took the field.
According to the conspiracy theory, Ripken’s streak almost ended in 1997 because of Academy Award winning actor Kevin Costner. How could an actor nearly end one of the most incredible streaks in sports history?
Let’s take a look.
Cal Ripken and Kevin Costner
Cal Ripken and Kevin Costner became friends in 1990 at the premiere of Costner’s Oscar winning film, Dances with Wolves. These two proceeded to become buddies. Ripken would go to Costner’s premieres, and Costner would make the occasional trip to Camden Yards.
In August of 1997, Costner was staying with Ripken and his now ex-wife, Kelly, in their Baltimore home. Ripken was one of those players that was always first to the ballpark, and this was his plan on August 14, 1997.
Ripken started his morning trek to Camden Yards before realizing that he had forgotten something at his home. He turned around and returned to his house to find his wife in bed with another man.
It’s believed that the man in Kelly Ripken’s bed was Kevin Costner. The Iron Man ended up ripping Costner out of bed and beating his ass.
Conspiracists deem that the man was Costner because the Oscar winner did not make any public appearances for an extended period. Ripken was obviously shaken up after seeing his wife in bed with another man, so he called the Orioles and told them that he would not be able to play that night.
The End of the Streak?
When Ripken called the Orioles front office, owner Peter Angelos reminded Ripken that the streak would come to an end if he did not play. Ripken was content with the streak ending because he knew there was no way that he was going to make it to Camden Yards.
It’s rumored that Angelos told Ripken not to worry about the streak because he would take care of it, and conspiracists believe that he kept his promise.
The Orioles were slated to host the Seattle Mariners on August 14, 1997. On the one day that Ripken could not make it to the ballpark, the game was mysteriously canceled because of technical issues in Oriole Park’s lights.
A ground break in Oriole Park’s power circuit caused some of the stadium’s lights to not turn on during warmups. First pitch was scheduled for 7:35 PM, but the umpires pushed the start time back because of the electrical failure.
By 8:45 PM, the electrical crew had fixed most of the problem, but there were still twenty light bulbs that were not illuminating. Umpire Crew Chief Al Clark called the game at 10:00 PM because of the shadow formed at home plate due to the ballpark’s lack of illumination.
Randy Johnson was the scheduled starter for the Mariners. The umpires did not feel a shadow around the first plate side of home plate would be safe with the big-armed southpaw on the hill.
The following day, the Orioles faced the Mariners in a day-night doubleheader. Cal Ripken started both games, and the streak stayed alive.
Is it True?
The conspiracy theory developed shortly after the game, and it’s still alive to this day. Cal Ripken Jr. and Kevin Costner have denied the story on multiple occasions, but baseball fans are still claiming that this narrative played out in real life.
Cal and Kelly divorced in 2016, so the alleged Costner incident did not ruin their marriage. Costner also revealed in a 2001 interview that he could not stand Kelly Ripken after being around her for just ten minutes. Of course, this does not mean that the Field of Dreams star did not think she was attractive.
Do I think that the conspiracy theory is true?
Let’s put it this way…
I do not think that it’s false.
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