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Friday, October 5, 2001
Next chapter for Tony, Cal

By Jim Caple
Page 2

After two wonderful decades of baseball, Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn play their final games this weekend, then begin their lives off the field.

Cal Ripken
Cal Ripken Jr. certainly won't take retirement sitting down.
Of course, retirement is a relative term. The day after his final game with the Padres, Gwynn begins his job as San Diego State's baseball coach, while Cal will devote his time to running a baseball academy in Baltimore.

What else does retirement hold for the two players? Find out by taking a peek into the Page 2 crystal ball.

Oct. 8, 8:30 a.m. ET: Cal wakes up fully refreshed and oddly comfortable with his retirement, absolutely certain he made the right decision and looking forward to the rest of his life.

Oct. 8, 1:13 p.m. ET: Having scrubbed the floors, washed the windows, dropped the kids off at school, washed three loads of laundry, mowed the lawn and alphabetized the canned goods, a thoroughly bored Ripken wonders whether it's too late to change his mind about retirement.

Oct. 8: 10 a.m. PT: Tony begins his first day of retirement by studying 18 hours of Andy Griffith video. Interestingly, he doesn't have to watch any video tape, just never change the channel from TBS.

Oct. 25: Cal is forced to postpone his daily trip to the hardware store when he can't find his car keys.

Nov. 2: Tony holds his first workout as San Diego State coach, informing players that he is changing the team's training table by replacing the fruit and vegetables with In 'n Out cheeseburgers.

Tony Gwynn
Tony Gwynn will introduce the kids at San Diego State to a new "training table."
Nov. 10: Cal starts talking about the weather an awful lot.

Nov. 22: Baseball honors Cal and Tony with a special pregame ceremony before the first game of the World Series. Cal suffers frostbite, while throwing the ceremonial first pitch to Tony in 18-degree weather.

Nov. 29: Cal calls his daughter into the family room, and asks her to show him how to set the VCR for "The Golden Girls" and "Murder She Wrote."

Jan. 17: San Diego State cleans up in the recruiting wars when Tony uses his connections with former teammates to sign all of Steve Garvey's illegitimate children to letters of intent.

Feb. 18: The Orioles begin spring training for the first time in 22 years without Ripken. In Baltimore, Cal tells reporters that "today's players, they aren't as good as they were back in my day."

March 3: Tony takes a 6-foot-6, 260-pound freshman outfielder who hit 37 home runs his senior year of high school and teaches him to slap singles to the opposite field.

March 20: Cal goes to Florida for spring training, where he wears plaid polyester slacks and shows perfect strangers photos of his grandchildren, even though he doesn't have any grandchildren.

April 1: Although Tony is no longer playing for the Padres, he is there for San Diego as usual on Opening Day, when he resumes his customary role as the team's Swingin' Friar mascot.

  March 20: Cal goes to Florida for spring training, where he wears plaid polyester slacks and shows perfect strangers photos of his grandchildren, even though he doesn't have any grandchildren. 
   

April 17: Attendance plummets at Cal's baseball academy following Ripken's mysterious and grueling "Iron Man" drills, involving Marine drill sergeants, Navy Seals, Taebo instructor Billy Banks and Phillies manager Larry Bowa.

May 23: San Diego State earns a spot in the College World Series, thanks to a team batting average of .456 and three home runs.

May 30: Cal celebrates the 20th anniversary of the first game of his playing streak by sleeping 2,632 consecutive minutes. Upon awakening, he is disappointed to find out he slept through Willard Scott's weather forecast.

June 10: The Aztecs win the CWS.

June 12: Tony finishes his postgame press conference.

July 29: Cal breaks Joe Durgan's 27-year-old record for most consecutive days of work as a Wal-Mart greeter.

August 12: The NCAA places San Diego State on three-year probation, citing a "disturbing lack of intestinal control" after it learns that Gwynn arranged for the Aztecs to receive Krispy Kreme discounts unavailable to other students.

Oct. 2: Cal ends months of speculation by announcing that he is coming out of retirement to play with the Washington Wizards.

Jim Caple is a senior writer for ESPN.com.