The Life and Times of Calvin Edwin Ripken, Jr.
by Taylor Greenwood
Introduction and Highlights
Have you ever wondered if the Orioles had a secret weapon to win the World Series in 1983? They did: Cal Ripken Jr. In this biography you will learn about his background, what influenced him, and his present-day activities.
As important as Cal Ripken Jr. is on the baseball field, he is more important in the community. He and his wife, Kelly, have held several different fundraisers throughout Maryland for disabled children. Even though Ripken played major league baseball he still found the time to spend with Kelly, his son, Ryan, and his daughter, Rachel.
Ripken is now a retired Oriole who was in the All-Star game 19 out of 20 seasons. For a 41-year-old major-league baseball player, Ripken did pretty well.
Home Life in Maryland
On August 24, 1960, Calvin E. Ripken Jr. was born in Harve de Grace, Maryland. That's when it all started. At the time Ripken's father, Cal Ripken Sr., was playing for the Baltimore Orioles.
Ripken, Sr. says that Cal, Jr. was born with a bat and ball in his hands. Ripken started backyard baseball before he was four years old.
Ripken has two brothers, Fred and Billy, and one sister named Elly. When Ripkens' dad was pitching coach for the Orioles, he wasn't home a lot. So his mom, Violet, was the mom and dad at home most of the time.
In high school Cal Ripken Jr. was a pitcher for the school baseball team. At the end of his senior year in 1977, he was drafted as a pitcher for the Orioles minor league team.
He now lives with his wife and children in Maryland.
Ripken's major league career started in 1981. He has been playing the game of baseball for twenty years.
In his entire career the Orioles only won the World Series once, in 1983. But Ripken, by himself, has broken several records, such as most RBI's (Runs Batted In) for a shortstop player. Ripken has hit over 3,000 hits during his career. He also holds the record for the most consecutive games played: 2,632, to be exact.
When Ripken is signing autographs, some people take the autograph and sell it for money. That is why he is wary whenever he signs autographs.
What got him Started
Ripken's biggest influence was his dad. His dad brought him to some of the Orioles' practices. Ripken took notes on the players. He liked to go anywhere his dad went. In the morning, Cal Sr. would ask Fred, Billy and Cal Jr. if they wanted to go to the practices. The only one who would say yes was Cal.
His other biggest influences were the Orioles team and especially Eddie Murray. Ripken played with Murray for one year before his friend stopped playing for the O's. Eddie was very supportive of Ripken playing baseball. He gave Ripken many tips on how to bat and field.