Last week, I got to sit down with my new friend, Ryan Ripken. In some ways we’re the same. We both grew up at Camden Yards. We both love sports, a good cup of coffee and a good Roostart from The Iron Rooster.
It may not take you long to realize that in many other ways, we are very different. I’ve had the easy path of growing up as a fan in the stands with zero expectations. Ryan, however, did not have that luxury. He now is getting the chance to change the narrative and show the world that when it’s all said and done, he’s just Ryan.
Even though this is a newer territory to him, Ryan has been around the media his whole life.
Ryan will be the first to tell you that he is an outgoing person, and if he loves a subject, he can talk to you about it for quite a while.
“I did think about when I was done playing baseball that this (jumping into media) is something I was really intrigued by,” Ryan said. “How can I still talk about sports or interact in different ways or even branch out past sports?”
Once his playing days were over, he had conversations with local radio station, 105.7 The Fan, about doing small hits regarding the current Orioles team and farm system, something he had just been well embedded in.
His next jump was into TV, appearing on WBAL, talking about another subject of interest, fantasy football. This gave him a chance to start branching out from baseball and showing the people of Baltimore and beyond that there was a side of him many had not seen before, myself included.
Fast forward to 2023, Ryan is on local TV (Fox 45) and radio talking about the O’s magical start, including hosting a pre-game show, Baltimore Baseball Tonight, on one of Baltimore’s main sports talk radio stations (105.7 The Fan).
Ryan has most recently started to branch out with a podcast called ‘Off ScRIPt With Rip’ where he has guests share their stories, gives food reviews and much more. This new venture has been an exciting move into giving people a further perspective into Ryan and the things he enjoys. As a side note, you should especially check out the episode where Ryan shares his own story.
“If you talk to my teammates or friends, they’ll say I can chat your ear off about all types of sports because I get really analytical with my thoughts, but I also try to be very realistic,” Ryan said.
When it comes to growing as a media member, I saw Ryan straddle the line of ballplayer and media member closer than anything else we talked about. He goes back and reviews his content, notes what could be better and works on it for next time.
“A lot of things are trial and error,” Ryan said. “That’s what I’m noticing even with TV and radio. You do something to see if it works, to see if it clicks. I go back and listen and watch everything almost to a fault.”
As our conversation came to a close, we spent some time talking about today’s Orioles team. Ryan has a very intimate and recent perspective on the deep and wide Orioles farm system, having played with or been around guys making an impact today.
While acknowledging there are bright spots still left from the past front office, there’s an overarching narrative that the current regime’s ability to evaluate talent is at the core of what’s happening in Birdland.
“I try to tell people this all the time,” Ryan said. “It’s a combination of having people that were brought in by the previous front office. You’re talking about Cedric Mullins, Ryan Mountcastle, Grayson Rodriguez, D.L. Hall, Mike Baumann, to name a few. Then you have the current front office, which has done a tremendous job of evaluating talent and trying to see value in a player and help them take a step. Jorge Mateo is a perfect example of that. They also have created so much talent at the minor league level. Having depth and really talented players is one of the best problems to have in an organization.”
We could have talked about the Orioles all day, but again, Ryan’s perspective reaches much further than that. His journey and headfirst dive into being a member of the noisy media world is just getting started. His podcast is the branch extending the furthest from the vine of sports.
“The podcast started because people involved in sports, business, broadcast, whatever, they have a story behind it, a journey behind it,” he said. “When you talk to guys and hear their story, you relate to it. It makes sense, and it’s real. As far as the food, the coffee, I have some things in the works. I like to explore things I don’t know as much about. I started with athletes because those are people I know, but it’s quickly branching into the food industry, broadcasting and hopefully some coffee sponsors on the way.”
Personally, my favorite part about having Ryan doing what he’s doing is that we share the idea of positivity. Ryan approaches social media, his podcast and his day to day with a level of joy that we could all use more of.
“What I want to try to bring is positivity,” he said. “I grew up with people loving my dad, but comparing me and what I couldn’t accomplish to him. I was really hard on myself as a player, but since retiring, I’ve been able to flip a switch. If people come around me and my content, I want them to feel good.”
You can check out Ryan on his personal Twitter and Instagram @ryanripken. His YouTube page is ‘RyanRipkenOfficial’. The video form of the podcast lives there. You can find Ryan’s podcast ‘Off ScRIPt With Rip’ on Twitter and Instagram @offscript_pod. The podcast is also available in audio format on all podcast platforms.
You can watch the full interview below:
What do you think of Ryan’s journey from player to media member? Let us know in the comments below! Make sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Facebook, Twitter and TikTok, and use the hashtag #baltimorebattery when sharing our content!
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