06/21/2001 at 12:00 AM EDT
Don't look for soon-to-retire baseball legend Cal Ripken Jr., 40, to enter the political arena. Republican officials struck out when they asked the Baltimore Oriole third baseman, who's putting down his bat at the end of this season, to run for governor of Maryland. "He doesn't have any interest in running," Ripken's lawyer, Ira Rainess, told the New York Post. The idea to go from homeplate to the governor's mansion apparently developed in local newspapers, which pitched the idea to readers. "We'd love to have (Ripken)," Maryland's GOP executive director Paul Ellington said. "He's got good Republican values, but we have no record of him being eligible to vote, and the rules say you've got to be registered and living in the state for five years -- this is not New York." Ellington's comment is obviously a reference to Hillary Clinton, who won a landslide victory when she ran for the Empire State's U.S. Senate seat after living in New York for a year.