Baltimore Orioles legend and Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. shared some big news this week. During a Zoom call with reporters on Thursday, Ripken revealed he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in February during a routine checkup. He had surgery in March and said he's now cancer-free.
"I don't know if I'm the only one that's ever did it in and out on the same day with this kind of surgery," Ripken said to reporters. "But the good news is it has a real happy ending. The cancer was all contained in the prostate. They did a pathology report afterward and confirmed that that was the case." Ripken then said he had a three-month test to see if his "PSA [prostate-specific antigen] was undetectable." He stated the PSA was undetectable, which means "all the cancer was contained and it's all out now."
Ripken, who turns 60 next week, said he wasn't worried when his PSA was high during his doctor's visit. A biopsy was performed and Ripken said the test results "came back iffy." Ripken got the surgery done before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country and hospitals were overrun with patients.
"I wouldn't say the Iron Man [nickname] contributes to it, but I was the kind of person who was thinking, 'OK, I'll just keep this a secret,'" Ripken said when talking about first learning about the cancer diagnosis. "But the longer you deal with it and you understand the outcome has been favorable and positive, the reason I'm letting it slip out now is I want to use the opportunity to help other people who struggle with that decision and encourage other people to go get their regular exams, get their tests."
Ripken was speaking to reporters about the 25th anniversary of him surpassing Lou Gehrig's consecutive game streak, which is next month. The 19-time All-Star played in 2,632 consecutive games, surpassing Gehrig's 2,130 games which stood for 56 years. Along with that record, Ripken finished his career with 3,184 hits, 431 home runs and 1,695 RBIs with a .276 batting average. Ripken played his entire career with the Orioles (1981-2001) and won two American League MVP awards (1983, 1991) and led the team to the World Series title (1983). He is the son of Cal Ripken Sr., who was a former Orioles player, coach and manager.