by Lisa Tome
Bill Ripken spent Saturday just as his does the other six days of the week: he worked.
It didn't matter much that it was his birthday - his 90th birthday.
Ripken, office manager at Collette's Service Center for the past 27 years, planned to work his regular shift until 2 p.m. Then he was going to dine on Joe Corbi's pizza with Shirley, his wife of 66 years. "No cake, no nothing. Just Joe Corbi's. I'd like some buckwheat pancakes with sausage but nobody really makes those anymore," he said.
Ripken was born April 9, 1926.
"I've been working all my life. I started at 16 at Bainbridge Naval Training Center hauling stuff for them," he said.
Before going to work at Collette's, he worked for three banks and was a branch manager. He also played professional baseball as a centerfielder during the 1947, 1948, and 1949 seasons. He served in the U.S. Army in Europe during World War II.
"I work 54 hours a week. Sometimes more. That's six and a half days a week. I'm working to continuously pay medical expenses," said Ripken.
The strong work ethic may be a family tradition. Perryville's Iron Man is the uncle of Cal Ripken, Jr. and the brother of Cal's late father, Cal, Sr.