On September 6, 1995, Cal Ripken broke the most storied record in baseball, Lou Gehrig's streak of 2,130 consecutive games. Ripken played all of his games with the Baltimore Orioles, a rarity in an era when baseball players move from team to team seeking better deals. The 19-time All Star retired from the Baltimore Orioles in 2001 with 2,632 consecutive games played and over 3,000 hits. However, Ripken's most enduring legacy and gift to the sport of baseball may come from the work he has done since his retirement. One of the first things Ripken did upon retirement was to announce the creation of a facility dedicated to developing baseball at a grass-roots level.
A Maryland native, Ripken chose Aberdeen, Maryland as the site of the facility which currently includes a state-of-the-art minor league ballpark and a youth baseball training academy. The Aberdeen facility features youth baseball fields designed to mimic famous major league ball parks like Oriole Park at Camden Yards and Wrigley Field. The Aberdeen facility hosts a "world series" each year that draws 15 teams of 11 and 12 year old players from all over the world. Ripken is also devoted to building values through sports. Together with his brother, Bill, Ripken has penned two best selling books aimed at parents and youth coaches offering coaching tips, instructional methods and information on the Ripken family's philosophy of sports including having fun and practicing good sportsmanship.
Cal and Bill Ripken are the only brothers in the history of major league baseball to have played for their father at the same time. In honor of their father, the brothers started a foundation dedicated to teaching baseball to economically disadvantaged children across the country. The foundation has undertaken such projects as refurbishing inner-city ball fields, and donating sports equipment to school systems. The foundation's work has enabled disadvantaged children to learn values through baseball and to receive training and instruction that they might never have received otherwise.
In addition to his work with the Aberdeen facility and the foundation, Ripken is a sought-after corporate speaker on topics such as teamwork, perseverance and leadership. In addition to his coaching books, Ripken also penned a best-selling biography in 1997 that told of his pursuit of "the streak" and how it changed his life. Ripken has a weekly baseball talk show on XM satellite radio that he co-hosts with his brother, Billy. The show is a wide-ranging discussion of many different baseball-related topics.
Kadence Buchanan writes articles on many topics including Baseball, Games, and Recreation