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“Still, I wondered why African-Americans will drive halfway across the country to commune with second and third cousins once removed when folks from other cultures want to bolt out the back door when their relatives pull up in the driveway.”

‘Ripken Way’

It might not have generated as much publicity as being inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame, but let the record reflect that Congress this week also honored Cal Ripken Jr., albeit for his accomplishments off the field.

Legislation honoring Mr. Ripken with his own personalized interstate highway has been introduced by Democratic Rep.. John Sarbanes, whose state of Maryland fields the Baltimore Orioles, Mr. Ripken’s team for his entire major league career.

“My bill would rename as ‘Cal Ripken Way’ Interstate 395 in Baltimore, which runs into the city and ends near Oriole Park at Camden Yards,” announced Mr. Sarbanes, who said the honor surpasses the former Orioles shortstop playing “an incredible 2,632 consecutive games, passing LouGehrig’s record of 2,131 on September 6, 1995.”

More importantly, Mr. Sarbanes said, “Baseball fans and especially parents are too often disappointed when our American idols fail to live up to our American ideals. Too often, our sports stars are famous for all the wrong reasons, but time and again Cal Ripken Jr. has been a source of pride for baseball.

“ ’The Ripken way’ is in many ways synonymous with ‘the American way.’ When you ask people about American values, they often mention dependability, loyalty, humility, and old-fashioned hard work. Cal Ripken embodies these values.”

John McCaslin can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin @washingtontimes .com.