There are people that are inspirational for multiple reasons. Cal Ripken Jr. is one of these people. An incredible athlete, family man, businessman, author, and humanitarian. Cal Ripken Jr. is inspirational.
Cal Ripken Jr. was born on August 24, 1960 in Havre de Grace, Maryland. Cal Ripken Sr. was actually on the road coaching the Baltimore Orioles when he was born. Cal grew up around the game of baseball. He learned the game and received instructions from professional baseball players from a young age. He started playing second base on his high school team before being moved to shortstop as a sophomore. He was later, also, used as a pitcher. He started making records.
Cal Ripken Jr. was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 1978 Major League Baseball draft. They assigned him to the Bluefield Orioles of the Minor League. In 1979, Cal moved up to the Single-A Miami Orioles. He played well and was named All-Star after the season. He was called-up to the Charlotte Orioles and they won the 1980 Southern League championship. In 1981, he played for the Rochester Red Wings of the Triple-A International League. He ended up being named the International League Rookie of the Year.
Cal was called up for the second half of the 1981 season to play for the Baltimore Orioles. He landed the third base job in 1982. He was later shifted to shortstop. He won the American League Rookie of the Year Award. 1983 was one of the best years of his career. The Orioles won the World Series in 1983. He became the American League Most Valuable Player and set a record by being Rookie of the Year and the following year the MVP. He was on the way to a record number of consecutive games played as well.
In 1987, Cal Ripken Sr. became the Orioles manager and Cal’s brother Billy Ripken was in the lineup. Cal played different positions, won records, and played in nineteen All-Star Games. He made a record of 2,632 consecutive games played. He retired at the end of the 2001 season.
Cal married his wife Kelly in 1987. They had a daughter and a son. His son is a baseball player as well, but chose college at the University of South Carolina. He has played in college. It was reported that following a year of separation that Cal and his wife Kelly divorced in April of 2016.
Throughout and since Cal Ripken Jr.’s professional career he donated time and money to multiple charities. In 1988, he and his then wife founded the Cal Ripken Jr., Lifelong Learning Center. In 2001, he and his brother Billy founded the Cal Ripken Sr., Foundation. This is a branch of Ripken Baseball. Cal Ripken Jr. served as commissioner of the White House Tee Ball Initiative between 2001 ans 2004. In 2007, Ripken and other notable athletes founded Athlete for Hope charitable organization. In 2007, the US State Department named Ripken a Special Envoy and sent him on a goodwill/diplomacy trip to China.
In 2008, Ripken received an honorary doctorate from the University of Delaware. In 2013, he received another doctorate from the University of Maryland. Ripken has written about thirty books of various genres. He has been a New York Times bestseller more than once. He owns multiple minor league baseball teams as well. He has worked for TBS Sports and ZeniMax Media. The Ripken Experience, sports complexes, opened in multiple locations. Be inspired! Have a bright day!