Said Ripley of his Giants experience, "It ruined me as a baseball player and made me a cartoonist.”
Starting at 25 dollars a week, Ripley made his mark as a sports illustrator for The New York Globe, whose content was nationally syndicated.
One day in 1918, with his deadline approaching for his sports cartoon, Ripley couldn’t think of a subject. He quickly created a strip with a roundup of some odd athletic feats, and what we know as Ripley's Believe It or Not! was born.
With the early strips, Ripley significantly expanded interest in sports outside of the mainstream staples at the time — baseball, boxing and horse racing.
Ripley's Believe It or Not expanded to non-sports subjects, popularized illustrated trivia, and made Ripley more money than any athlete of his time.
Here’s a Believe It or Not fact: The first-known regular playing of the Star Spangled Banner was during the 1898 baseball season at the third of Manhattan’s four Polo Grounds, at home games of the New York Giants.
Eighteen years later, President Woodrow Wilson ordered it played at military and other occasions.
But it was Ripley championing the song in his Believe It Or Not strip starting in 1929 that led to President Herbert Hoover in 1931 signing legislation making the song the nation's official national anthem.