A Conversation with Rick Dempsey, Orioles Hall of Famer and 1983 World Series MVP

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RickDempsey and writer Geoffrey Washington.
RickDempsey and Interviewer Geoffrey Washington.

From Citybizlist – Rick Dempsey became a fan favorite as a catcher with the Orioles. He still has a tremendous following in Baltimore, as the “O’s Xtra” host (and occasional analyst), and as popular motivational speaker, entertainer and entrepreneur. We recently had lunch with Rick at his namesake establishment, Dempsey’s Brew Pub & Restaurant at Camden Yards (www.dempseysbaltimore.com). Over burgers and salad, Rick shared fond memories of his Major League days and discussed life after baseball. 

Geoffrey Washington (GW): Was it hard transitioning from being a player?
Rick Dempsey (RD): Yeah, it really was. I never wanted to leave that locker room. The camaraderie and working together with all of the great players that I had an opportunity to be with, and learning the game from them and the way they looked at it, and combining that with the way I looked at it with the aggressiveness and the work ethic that we all had, it just made life fun. To wake up every single day and do what I did was a blessing from God that I’ll never match. Meeting all the people I’ve been able to meet, some of the most prestigious people in the world, you know visiting the President four or five times and walking in the fast lane where I’ve walked, not very many people get that opportunity to meet some of the greatest people of all times, not only in my sport but around the world.

GW: What was the biggest adjustment?
RD: Trying to learn to be a bit of a businessman, because I never really thought much about it, I was always so focused on conditioning and sports and doing what I needed to do to maintain my professional career as a player. Now it’s what are you going to do, are you going to be a statistic or one of those players who threw all of his money away or drank it away or drugged it away? I don’t want to do that and I’ve never wanted to do it. I wanted to parlay my experiences as a player into being a good businessman and eventually turning something over to my children when I am ready to retire.

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