Cal Ripken, Jr. says MLB is very different today, confidence makes you ‘more valuable’

Cal Ripken, Jr., known as “The Iron Man” who played 21 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Baltimore Orioles from 1981 to 2001, told FOX Business the key to performing at a high level is consistency.

“You can’t really accomplish anything unless you’re willing to come in, roll your sleeves up and get to work,” Ripken told Maria Bartiromo on “Mornings with Maria.”

The Baseball Hall of Fame inductee, who shattered multiple MLB records including most consecutive games played at 2,632, gave advice to the younger generation of players.

“You’ve got to find a way to play hurt. And hurt meaning something less than 100%,” he said. “If you can get the confidence to figure out how you can make contributions at less than your best then you’re a more valuable employee.”

At a time when most professional baseball players are bigger, stronger, faster and more injury stricken, Ripken tiptoed around whether the current generation requires a higher degree of mental toughness, but recalled playing through a painful herniated disk in 1997.

“That was after the record was broken, so it wasn’t about that. We were good. We were beating the Yankees from the first day of the season to the last and they were pushing us a little bit… I was faced with a decision. I’ve been through these rebuilding processes, I want to play now. So I asked the doctor whether I could play through that [and I asked] if I can do any damage. He said ‘no’ and I said well ‘I’ll try,’” he said.