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When coronavirus hit America, nearly every sports fan worried about what would happen to their beloved sport.
The 2020 season was originally scheduled to begin on March 26. Major League Baseball joined other U.S. sports leagues in suspending league activities in mid-March in order to comply with shelter-in-place orders and bans on mass gatherings.
While Americans might lament the loss of baseball games, the NCAA tournament, The Masters and countless other sporting events put on hold or canceled during the pandemic, Ripken had a bit of perspective to share with them.
On Tuesday, he recalled to FOX Business' Connell McShane what it was like going into his final year playing in the majors. The year was 2001.
"I was able to witness the recovery after 9/11," Ripken remembered on FOX Business' "After the Bell." "I was stumbling to the end, emotionally kind of spent, because I was saying goodbye for my last time. 9/11 hit and then perspective said, 'OK, you know, how is baseball really that important?'"
He said the perspective he gained after that tragic event showed him what's really important in life.
The first MLB game played in New York after 9/11 was between the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets just 10 days after the terrorist attack
"Baseball, at that time, played a huge role in the normalcy or the comfort of something that we could hold on to and to know that everything was going to be all right," Ripken reminisced. "So I know that sports plays that role. And I know in particular baseball does."
Ripken reminded everyone how baseball fans wake up every day, wondering what happened the night before, which makes it almost a part of their daily routines.
"It's part of how we go about our normal lives, and I think that's the important part about getting baseball back, is to give us some semblance of what normal used to be," Ripken said.
He is hopeful baseball will return soon "in some form or some shape" since it's such a pastime for America.
MLB has yet to officially cancel any games and still plans to reschedule postponed dates once the public health situation allows.
The league is exploring multiple scenarios to play out the full 162-game schedule this year, including the possibility of sending all teams to play games in Arizona or Florida and extending the season deeper into the fall. President Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci have each suggested that U.S. sports will likely resume without fans in attendance at games.