Cal Ripken Jr. passes torch: Lamar Jackson is the ‘No. 8 in Baltimore now’
When it comes to Baltimore sports fans, there are few who would argue against the notion that Cal Ripken Jr. is the most revered professional athlete ever put on a uniform and represent Charm City.
Now, the Baltimore legend — who was the personification of the Orioles franchise for 21 outstanding seasons — believes it’s time for him to pass the torch, at least as it relates to the iconic No. 8 that was emblazoned upon his Orioles jersey for two-plus decades.
Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is the prohibitive favorite to earn the NFL MVP award. In fact, any other outcome in the voting would be shocking.
While the Ravens did fall short in their Super Bowl aspirations this season, Jackson is poised to lead the team to potential championship runs for many seasons to come. It’s in this belief that Ripken asserts that it’s time for Baltimore to anoint Jackson as the top No. 8 in town.
“It’s his time, though. He is No. 8. He’s the No. 8 in Baltimore now,” Ripken said, per Dan Connolly of The Athletic.
After Jackson threw out the ceremonial first pitch at an Orioles game last season, he made note of how he was humbled by the honor of wearing No. 8 in Baltimore.
Mr. Cal, I would like to Thank you for letting me borrow your #Orioles number tonight. Please know I’m working & striving to be the next great 8 in Baltimore. #RavensFlock #Truss pic.twitter.com/i4AHSjfHtk— Lamar Jackson (@Lj_era8) July 18, 2019
.@Lj_era8 on the honor of wearing Cal Ripken’s No. 8 and the excitement of throwing out the @Orioles first pitch pic.twitter.com/mC6jVdfYky— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) July 18, 2019
“It’s been a long time since I’ve played, so it makes me feel good. I always think of the question I got asked all the time at the end of my career: ‘When it’s all said and done, how would you like to be remembered?’ And I said, ‘Being remembered at all is pretty cool,’” Ripken told Connolly. “That is how I felt with Lamar. To remember me and to look at me as No. 8, I thought that was pretty cool.”