Q&A with Jay Gibbons

Q: Are there drawbacks to being part of a rebuilding process or youth movement, or is it helpful for younger players?

Gibbons: We’re still competitive. There’s a lot of life. You have a lot of young guys taking risks. But that’s a good thing, also. We’re real aggressive, and I think it just livens everybody up.

Q: Can you describe the atmosphere in the clubhouse?

Gibbons: Very loose and joking. Everybody gets along. We’ve got no enemies on this team. Everybody just likes to have fun. Like I said, we’re just very loose and comfortable.

Q: How much of a part has that played in the team’s success?

Gibbons: A big part. You’re not going up there tense or having the veterans get on you or anything like that. You’re just one of the teammates, and everybody treats you equally.

Q: Did you always want to be a major league baseball player?

Gibbons: Most definitely. I remember when I was 7 or 8 years old on career day, I’d come in my baseball uniform. Just like a lot of these guys here, I’d tell everybody I was going to be a big league ballplayer. A lot of people didn’t believe you, but I had always believed it. I never had a doubt in my mind.

Q: What players did you admire as you were growing up?

Gibbons: I liked to watch Eddie Murray and Tony Gwynn. Cal Ripken I watched a lot. It’s funny, to play with these guys that you admired growing up. It’s just really a dream come true.

Q: What's the best part about being a baseball player?

Gibbons: Just playing a game for a living. You’re doing what you love the most and getting paid for it. It’s almost funny. Just going out and staying young every day.

Q: What has been the best or most memorable moment of your career so far?

Gibbons: My first big league hit, I think, was pretty big. I’d been waiting a long time for that. I called my father immediately after that and talked to him for an hour and a half. That was probably the most special moment, just to say that I’ve arrived. I’ve finally made it.

Q: What were your feelings the first time you took the field as a player at Camden Yards?

Gibbons: A lot of excitement. I was a little nervous and I was just hoping I wouldn’t trip running out on that orange carpet.

Q: Give us your thoughts on playing with Cal Ripken and on his retirement.

Gibbons: I consider it a great honor to be playing with him. I’m going to try to be around him as much as I can this last year and enjoy it with him and just take it all in, because it’s going to be an exciting time.