Byron's Babbles

Leading By Availability

Posted in Availability, Baltimore Orioles, Cal Ripken Jr., Iron Man, Leadership, Orioles by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on September 6, 2020

For an avid baseball fan, today marks the 25th anniversary of a true milestone in baseball’s most revered records. 25 years ago Cal Ripken Jr. surpassed Lou Gehrig’s record of playing in 2,130 straight games by playing in his 2,131st game. In fact, one of my most valued items in my den is my autographed picture of Cal from that 2,131st game (see featured picture on this post). It was on this day in 1995 in front of a home crowd at Camden Yards hosting the California Angels that he became baseball’s new Iron Man. I had the honor of seeing Cal Ripken Jr. play at Camden yards many times with students when I was an agriculture science teacher and FFA advisor because we always took in an Orioles game when either traveling to or home from the National FFA Organization’s Washington Leadership Conference. What a leadership role model my students and I were seeing in Cal Ripken Jr.

To read more of my blog posts featuring inspiration from Cal Ripken Jr. read Learn From The Day! and Luckiest Leaders On Earth!

“It’s widely believed that the most important ability is availability. Cal Ripken Jr. cornered the market on that skill.” ~ Chris Haft

Thus, the title of today’s post: Availability. The title and topic were inspired by a great piece by Chris Haft, MLB.com. He started his piece, Cal Ripken Jr.’s Top 10 Career Highlights, with the statement: “It’s widely believed that the most important ability is availability. Cal Ripken Jr. cornered the market on that skill.” How true! Being available is really the ultimate thing any leader can be. By always, literally, being available he was able to provide leadership for the Orioles, be a role model for the players in his team, be a mentor for the players on his team, and be a role model and inspiration to all his fans, young and old. What an example of work ethic.

Availability is crucial. It is important for people to know they have personal access to their leaders. Every game his teammates new he would be working right alongside them. We need to be the leader that builds relationships by being available. Thanks Cal for setting the example for us and the bar high.

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