Films on Friday: Cal Ripken

Check out Cal starring in the Campaign for Disability Employment’s latest PSA:

Happy Friday!

~ baseballrebecca


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).


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


This Week in Baseball History

All facts are from and

Warehouse at Camden Yards when Cal breaks the record (courtesy of wikipedia)September 5:  “The Star Spangled Banner,” though not yet the national anthem, is played during the seventh inning stretch during the World Series, which becomes a tradition (1918); Walter Johnson gets his 2,287th strikeout, breaking Cy Young’s record (1921); Cal Ripken, Jr., ties Lou Gehrig’s record of 2,130 consecutive games (1995); Mark McGwire becomes the third player to hit sixty home runs in a single season (1998); Vladimir Guerrero gets his 500th RBI (2001).  Birthdays:  Bill Mazeroski (1936) and Candy Maldonado (1960).

September 6:  The Indianapolis Hoosiers attempts its second night game, but the natural gas lighting proves inadequate (1888); for the first time in MLB history, three Canadian-born players were in the starting lineup of a major league team – the Expos’ Denis Boucher, Joe Siddel, and Larry Walker (1993); Fernando Valenzuela ties the National League record of seven shutouts by a rookie pitcher (1981); Cal Ripken, Jr., plays his 2,131st consecutive game, breaking Lou Gehrig’s record (1995); Eddie Murray hits his 500th career home run (1996).

September 7:  Eddie Collins steals six bases setting a 20th century record, a feat he will repeat on September 22 (1912); the White Sox use a record 41 players in a double header with Oakland, losing both games (1970); Dwight Gooden strikes out his 228th batter of the season, setting a National League record for a rookie (1984).

September 8:  The Polo Grounds is leased by the National Association’s Metropolitan team, and will be converted into the first commercial baseball park in Manhattan (1880); Bob Feller becomes the youngest 20th century player to win 20 games (1939); Bart Giammatti is unanimously elected as the seventh commissioner of baseball (1988).

September 9:  Rex Barney, future announcer for the Baltimore Orioles, pitches a no-hitter against the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds (1948); Tigers’ rookies Lou Whitaker and Alan Trammel make their major league debuts (1977); the Baltimore Orioles record the first triple play ever against the Toronto Blue Jays (1978); Robin Yount gets his 3,000th career hit, becoming only the 17th player to do so (1992); MLB expands its postseason and increases the number of divisions (1993). 

September 10: New York Giants’ pitcher Mickey Welch becomes the first pinch hitter in MLB history (1889); Deion Sanders becomes the first player to hit a home run and score an NFL touchdown in the same week (1989).  Birthdays:  Roger Maris (1934), Randy Johnson (1963), and Denys Baez (1977).

September 11:  The first baseball game with professional women players takes place in Springfield, IL (1875); Connie Mack makes his MLB debut with Washington (1886); the National Association of minor league clubs signs the National Agreement, which brings professional baseball under one set of comprehensive rules (1903); the New York Yankees play their last game at the Polo Grounds (1922); Frank Robinson hits his 38th home run of the year, tying the record for most home runs by a rookie (1956); Pete Rose hits his 4,192nd career home run, breaking Ty Cobb’s record on the 57th anniversary of Ty Cobb’s last major league game (1985).



Happy Birthday, Cal!

Cal Ripken, Jr., 2007 (photo by Keith Allison, via wikimedia)Today is Cal Ripken, Jr.’s birthday.  We’re very loyal to our team in Baltimore, and perhaps no player is more beloved than Cal Ripken, Jr.  Born in Havre de Grace, MD, on August 24, 1960, Cal will forever be our hometown hero.  No one messes with Cal.

Cal may have retired from baseball 10 years ago, but his impact on the game is still felt.  Here are just a few of his latest accomplishments:

  • Cal recently hosted Japanese students at his Ripken Youth Baseball Academy as part of an international exchange program sponsored by the Cal Ripken World Series, the Little League World Series, Ripken Baseball, and the State Department.  In fact, Cal will be visiting Japan this fall as part of his duties as a State Department envoy.
  • He got our hopes up a couple weeks ago when he said he had an “itch” to return to baseball.  Even actor Edward Norton tweeted that it was time for Cal to save the Orioles.
  • Earlier this month, Cal and brother Bill managed a team in the Under-Armor All-American game at Wrigley Field.  Playing first base during the game: 18-year old Ryan Ripken.
  • Of course, earlier this year, Cal’s new young adult book, Hothead, was released – and baseballrebecca got to meet him!
  • And if you want to hear more from the Legend himself, he recently did an online chat for the Washington Post.                                                                      

Happy birthday, Cal!  And for the rest of us—let’s have Cal Ripken kind of a day!

~ baseballrebecca