The 0-21 Orioles


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Cal Ripken, Sr., shown here in 1977, was fired after the O’s first 6 losses in 1988

We may not have played any games yet this season, but by this time in 1988, the Baltimore Orioles hadn’t won any games yet. Today marks the 32nd anniversary of one of the worst losing streaks in baseball history. The O’s went 0-21 to start the season. During those 21 very long games, they were outscored 129 to 44.

The O’s finally won a game on April 29, 1988 – and would then go on to lose two more games before returning home to Baltimore on May 25 after an abysmal 12-game road trip. They would win only 53 more games, finishing the season in 7th place with a 54-107 record.

It was a dark time for Orioles fans, but we rose to the occasion. Check out this awesome mini-documentary (seriously – it gave me goosebumps!) that MLB Network did to commemorate this 30th anniversary of this one-of-a-kind feat:

 

~ baseballrebecca

 

 

 

 

MLB’s Response to the Pandemic, Part 3


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Cal Ripken, Jr., in 1993. Photo by Rick Dikeman via Wikipedia.

Last week, I reported on the efforts of MLB, MLBPA, and individual teams during this time of crisis. Several players have also pledged donations to various charities. Here’s a team-by-team rundown of what players are doing:

  • Atlanta Braves: Freddie Freeman donated a total of $125,000 to three charities: $50,000 to the Atlanta Food Bank, $50,000 to Giving Kitchen, and $25,000 to the Salvation Army.
  • Baltimore Orioles: Orioles’ reliever Richard Bleier catered lunch for emergency room staff at Wellington Regional Medical Center in Palm Beach County, Florida. Similarly, Chris Davis catered breakfast for the staff of the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital on what would have been Opening Day. Cal Ripken, Jr., Bill Ripken, and the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation are participating in Feeding America’s “Strike Out Hunger” campaign.
  • Chicago Cubs: Jason Heyward donated $100,000 to the Greater Chicago Food Depository and $100,000 to MASK, an organization that is providing food and supplies to families impacted by the pandemic. In addition, the Anthony Rizzo Foundation has expanded its Hope44 Meals program.
  • Cleveland Indians: Trevor Bauer set-up and contributed $10,000 to a GoFundMe page for stadium workers.
  • Colorado Rockies: Daniel Murphy had donated $100,000 to a general fund for minor leaguers. Murphy donated another $100,000 to the Rockies’ “Stay at Home Opener” fundraiser for local food banks.
  • Houston Astros: Justin Verlander and wife Kate Upton announced that they would donate Verlander’s MLB paychecks to a different charity each week while baseball is on hold during the coronavirus pandemic. George Springer donated $100,000 to Minute Maid Park employees. Other Astros’ efforts include: Carlos Correa donated $500,000 worth of medical supplies to the city of Houston; Jose and Nina Altuve, along with the Astros Foundation, donated 60,000 meals to Kids’ Meals, Inc.; Joe Smith and his wife arranged for hundreds of meals to be sent to hospitals in Houston and greater Cleveland.
  • Milwaukee Brewers: Christian Yelich and Ryan Braun have partnered with local companies to provide meals to healthcare workers, providing 1,000 meals at their first donation event. Yelich, Braun, and several other players, as well as Brewers’ announcer Bob Uecker also contributed to the fund for Brewers’ employees.
  • New York Mets: Steven Matz donated $32,000 to New York City hospitals and first responders.
  • New York Yankees: Gerrit Cole said he would be making “significant” donations to Direct Relief, which is an organization that coordinates with various organizations to assist health workers. CC Sabathia’s PitCCh In Foundation joined with local grocer FreshDirect to hold a food drive to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs.
  • Philadelphia Phillies: Bryce Harper and his family donated $500,000 to organizations in Las Vegas and Philadelphia or relief efforts.
  • St. Louis Cardinals: Adam Wainwright donated $250,000 to Cardinals’ minor leaguers. Dexter Fowler matched donations to a local food bank in Las Vegas, providing over 64,000 meals to people in the community.
  • Texas Rangers: Shin-Soo Choo donated $1,000 to each of the team’s 190 minor leaguers. He also donated $200,000 to Community Chest of Korea to support the city of Daegu, near his hometown, Busan. In addition, Kyle Gibson is helping coordinate the Big League Impact program, which is partnering with Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Foundation to send funds to each big league city to help feed children. Elvis Andrus, Robinson Chirinos, and Lance Lynn also have contributed to this effort. Andrus also Elvis Andrus contributed to Fort Worth’s Assist the Officer drive which supports local businesses and restaurants by serving hot meals to local police officers. Rougned Odor contributed to both Safe Haven and Mission Arlington, which provide shelter and emergency aid people in need. The Rangers’ GM Jon Daniels and manager Chris Woodward are proving provided 1,000 meals for health care workers in Arlington and
  • Toronto Blue Jays: Hyun-Jin Ryu donated $100,000 to the Korea Disaster Relief Association.
  • Washington Nationals: Sean Doolittle and his wife Eireann Dolan donated 25,000 meals to the Capital Area Food Bank. Nationals Philanthropies have given $48,000 to chef Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen and the Nationals have provided space at Nats Park for the cooking and packaging of meals to be distributed in the community.

There are likely other examples out there, but these are the ones that have been reported in the news over the last few weeks.

~ baseballrebecca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best of the Week: 4/5/2020 – 4/11/2020


The Best of the Week: Cal Ripken, Jr., joined Twitter! Ripken was encouraged to join Twitter in order to promote his latest endeavor to help feed families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cal, brother Bill, and their Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation have joined Ollie’s Bargain Outlet and the Kevin Harvick Foundation to create the “Strike Out Hunger” campaign.  Together, these organizations have contributed $250,000 to Feeding America and their member food banks across the country.

We can always count on the Iron Man to help support the community. And we love his reminiscing and dog pictures, too!

~ baseballrebecca

 

 

 

 

Films on Friday: 2131


On September 6, 1995, Cal Ripken, Jr., broke the record for the most consecutive baseball games played in by a Major Leaguer. During that game, he hit a home run, as discussed in the video below featuring Jon Miller and President Bill Clinton:

 

Happy Friday!

~ baseballrebecca

 

 

 

 

 

Stat-urday, 8/24/2019


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Cal Ripken, Jr., in 1993 (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Baseball’s Iron Man, Cal Ripken, Jr., turns 59 today! Despite retiring from baseball nearly 20 years ago, Cal remains an import part of baseball, baseball history, and the State of Maryland. Here are a few of his important stats:

  • At bats: 11,551
  • Hits: 3,184
  • Runs: 1,647
  • RBIs: 1,695
  • Home runs: 431
  • Career batting average: .276
  • Consecutive games played: 2,532
  • Total games played: 3,001
  • Seasons played: 21
  • All-Star games: 19
  • MVP Awards: 2
  • Gold Gloves: 2
  • Silver Slugger Awards: 8
  • MLB teams played for: 1

Happy birthday, Cal!

~ baseballrebecca

 

 

 

 

 

Films on Friday: Cal and Bill Ripken


I noted the other day that Cal and Bill Ripken made an appearance at last Saturday’s Aberdeen IronBirds game. Before the game started, and before they each threw out a ceremonial first pitch, they spoke about their dad’s impact on the game of baseball and why the continue to support youth baseball and their team the Aberdeen IronBirds:

Happy Friday!

~ baseballrebecca

 

 

 

 

 

Cal Ripken, Jr., Commissioner (of South Lawn Tee Ball)


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President George W. Bush and Commissioner of White House South Lawn Tee Ball Cal Ripken, Jr., stand for the National Anthem, May 5, 2002

Speaking of Cal Ripken, Jr. (who I wrote about in yesterday’s post), do you remember when he was the Commissioner of White House South Lawn Tee Ball? President George W. Bush appointed Ripken to serve as the first honorary commissioner in 2001, a position he held through 2004.

The President introduced Cal as the commissioner at the opening game in 2002. For that game, the first-base coach was Mel R. Martinez, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Hall of Famer Tony Perez was the third base coach.  Also present were Orlando Cepeda, Erubiel Durazo, and Bill Ripken.

Hall of Fame baseball manager Tommy Lasorda urges on a player from the Wrigley Little League Dodgers of Los Angeles, as he runs for home against the Inner City Little League of Brooklyn, N.Y., Sunday, July 15, 2007, during the White House Tee Ball Game celebrating the legacy of Jackie Robinson on the South Lawn of the White House. Brooklyn and Los Angeles represent the two home cities of Robinson’s team.

Third Base Coach, Tommy Lasorda, July 15, 2007

The league hosted games sporadically from 2001 to 2008. Participating teams were selected by Little League Baseball. Cal was succeeded as commissioner by Nolan Ryan in 2004, Barry Larkin in 2005, and Willie Mays in 2006. Later, honorary commissioners would be appointed for specific games, including Frank Robinson who served as Honorary Commissioner for the South Lawn Tee Ball All-Star Game in 2008.

The final South Lawn Tee Ball game was held on September 7, 2008, with Bernie Williams serving as first base coach and General Pete Pace, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as third base coach.

~ baseballrebecca

 

President Bush attends a Tee Ball on the South Lawn game between the Cardinals and the South Berkeley Little League Braves from Inwood, West Virginia, June 23, 2002.

President Bush and Cal Ripken, Jr., attend Tee Ball on the South Lawn on June 23, 2002

 

The Aberdeen Legacy


67472272_10158652084277067_7514303712534200320_oThis past Saturday, the Aberdeen IronBirds became the Aberdeen Legacy for one night only as the team celebrated the legacy of the Ripken family. According to the team’s website, Legacy night celebrated “the Ripken family, Bill and Cal’s respective on-field legacies and the legacy of the family in Harford County – we can’t celebrate the evening without learning more about what led Cal and Bill to bring Minor League and youth baseball to Aberdeen and Harford County and to continue working to develop the youth baseball game around the world.”

The Aberdeen IronBirds are a short-season A team in the New York-Penn League owned by Cal and Bill Ripken. In fact, the team plays at Ripken Stadium in Cal and Bill’s home town of Aberdeen, Maryland. Ripken Baseball has several baseball fields around the stadium that host youth baseball camps and tournaments.

Cal and Bill were at the game, made a few speeches, and each threw out a baseball before the game. They spoke to little leaguers on the field and interviews with the IronBirds GM appeared on the scoreboard throughout the game. It was a great way to honor the family’s contributions to baseball in Aberdeen and the rest of the state.

~ baseballrebecca

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Eight . . .


8 - Ripken jerseyOpening Day is just eight days away! Who do you think of when you think of #8? Cal Ripken, of course! Cal Ripken, Jr., aka The Iron Man, is a Maryland legend and continues to give back to the community. Ripken is the recipient of several awards that speak to his commitment to the community as well as the sport of baseball. These include: Roberto Clemente Award (1992), Lou Gehrig Memorial Award (1992), Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year (1995), The Sporting News Sportsman of the Year (1995), Athlete of the Year (1995), Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award (2001), Stan Musial Lifetime Achievement Award for Sportsmanship (2016).

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Cal Ripken, Jr., 1996 (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Ripken has been associated with a variety of organizations and charities. For example, in 2007, he founded Athletes for Hope with several fellow athletes, including: Muhammad Ali, Tony Hawk, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Mario Lemieux, and Alonzo Mourning. The mission of the organization is, “To educate, encourage and assist athletes in their efforts to contribute to the community and charitable causes, to increase public awareness of those efforts, and to inspire others do to the same.”

Ripken is perhaps best known for forming the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation with his brother Bill in 2001. The mission of the Foundation is to help “build character and teach critical life lessons to at-risk young people living in America’s most distressed communities.” The organization builds parks, provides mentoring, and conducts camps and clinics across country. According to their website, in 2017 alone, the Foundation collaborated with 719 local partners in 582 cities in 43 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico, to reach more than one million at-risk youth.

Thanks for all you do for our communities, Cal!

~ baseballrebecca