In Bizarre Baseball Culture, I take a look at some of the more unusual places where baseball has reared it’s head in pop culture and fiction.
Wolverine of the X-Men has a habit of appearing in comics he technically isn’t supposed to be in, simply because he’s popular. Well, Cal Ripken is the Wolverine of Baseball Comic Books. He’s joined forces with Batman, led the Shortstop Squad, and been the subject of a bio-comic. Also, like Wolverine, Cal Ripken seemed to be able to recover from any injury, no matter how severe. But, it’s the first similarity that I’m focusing on, because, in the comic I will be looking at today, Cal Ripken appears in a story about the 2001 New York Yankees being Superheroes.
Let that sink in. The New York Yankees, in a comic that they themselves ordered and gave away, still had Cal Ripken in their comic and had him on the cover too.
Entitled “Championship Challenge” and given out September 28, 2001, it stars, as you can see, four of the greatest stars the Yankees had that season. Mariano Rivera! Tino Martinez! Jorge Posada! And, of course, the Once and Future Captain, Derek Jeter himself. But, of course, we also see Cal RIpken on the cover, letting everybody know that the Iron Man will be there! With such Ultimate Sports Force stalwarts as Rick Licht writing and Brian Kong doing the art, this was partially made as part of the Ripken farewell celebration, and it becomes even more obvious when you realize that originally Ripken’s final series would have been at Yankee Stadium if not for the schedule reshuffling that MLB did after the 9/11 attacks.
Anyway, go below the jump to read about the story: