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Tuscarawas News Detail

Cal Ripken, Jr., Baseball’s Iron Man, to Speak at Kent State Tuscarawas

Posted Oct. 8, 2010

Cal Ripken, Jr., baseball’s all-time Iron Man and Hall of Famer, will be the featured speaker at Kent State University at Tuscarawas on Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. in Founders Hall auditorium. Sponsored by the Voices of Distinction Series, Ripken’s topic is “The Keys to Perseverance.”

Although admission is free, tickets are required and will be available while supplies last at the main office in Founders Hall beginning Oct. 27.

Ripken retired from baseball in October 2001 after 21 seasons with the Baltimore Orioles. His name appears in the record books repeatedly, most notably as one of only eight players in history to achieve 400 home runs and 3,000 hits. In 1995, Ripken broke Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive games played (2,130), and he voluntarily ended his streak in 1998 after playing 2,632 consecutive games. Although he finished his career at third base, he is still best known for redefining the position of shortstop. In 2007, Ripken was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame with the third highest percentage of votes in history.

Ripken's name has become synonymous with strength, character, endurance and integrity. His philosophy of working hard, playing with passion and enjoying the game has made a tremendous impact on the sport and on fans everywhere. In 1999, Babe Ruth League, Inc. changed the name of its largest division (5-12 year-olds) from Bambino to Cal Ripken Baseball. Presently, more than 700,000 youths play Cal Ripken Baseball worldwide.

Now Ripken is using the platform that baseball has provided him to help grow the game he loves at the grassroots level. This next phase of his life includes the construction of a one-of-a-kind baseball complex in his hometown of Aberdeen, Md. The Aberdeen Project currently consists of Ripken Stadium, a state-of-the-art 6,000-seat minor league ballpark that is home to the hugely successful Class A Aberdeen IronBirds. Adjacent to the minor league ballpark is the Ripken Youth Baseball Academy that consists of several youth-sized fields modeled after the famous big league ballpark Camden Yards, which is called Cal Sr.'s Yard, and is owned and operated by the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, complimented by the Ripken Academy’s signature fields, which includes Memorial Stadium, Wrigley Field and Fenway Park, among others. Hundreds of teams and ballplayers from all over the country visit Aberdeen each year to participate in tournaments and camps.

The academy is also the permanent home of the Cal Ripken World Series played each August. It includes 15 teams of 11 and 12-year-olds from all over the world, and crowns the champion of the Cal Ripken Division of Babe Ruth League, Inc.

A best-selling author, Ripken has five books to his credit. In April 2004, Cal and Bill Ripken collaborated on a book, Play Baseball the Ripken Way. A national bestseller, the book serves as a comprehensive baseball instructional book for parents, coaches and kids, and covers all aspects of the game, including how to run an effective practice, and the Ripken philosophy of fun and good sportsmanship. Ripken is also the author of Get in the Game: 8 Elements of Perseverance That Make the Difference, a guidebook for success using Ripken’s techniques for working hard and staying focused; Parenting Young Athletes the Ripken Way: Ensuring the Best Experience for Your Kids in Any Sport; The Only Way I Know; and The Longest Season.

Ripken has always placed a strong focus on giving back to the community. In 2001, he and his family established the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation in memory of the family's patriarch. The Foundation helps teach life lessons through baseball to disadvantaged youth from all over the country, and gives them a life-changing experience. The foundation has refurbished fields throughout Maryland, donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Boys & Girls Clubs across the country, and helped thousands of kids enjoy baseball experiences that they would otherwise never encounter. Additionally, the foundation has teamed up with NikeGo, the non-profit arm of Nike, to donate baseball and softball equipment worth more than $1 million to school systems across the country.

Most recently, Ripken has been named as a special envoy for the US State Department, promoting teamwork and cross-cultural communication.

Among his many on-field accolades are: AL Rookie of the Year ('82), two-time AL Most Valuable Player ('83, '91), two-time Gold Glove recipient ('91, '92), two-time All-Star MVP ('91, '01), a world record 2,632 consecutive games, and 19 All-Star Game selections. In 2001, Ripken was honored when fans named his 2,131st consecutive game Major League Baseball's "Most Memorable Moment" in history through a program run by Major League Baseball.

Ripken resides in Maryland with his wife, Kelly, and their children, Rachel and Ryan.

Although admission to this event is free, tickets are required and will be available to the public beginning Oct. 27 at the main office in Founders Hall. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday. Tickets are limited to two per person.

Kent State Tuscarawas is located at 330 University DR NE, in New Philadelphia.


Media Contact:Pam Patacca,
Kent State University at Tuscarawas
October 8, 2010