Ripken Shares Love For Baseball Around The World 2009: Jeff Diveronica

Ripken shares love for baseball around the world

Jeff DiVeronica • Staff writer • May 17, 2009 Cal Ripken Jr.
has shown kids across America the fundamentals of baseball, written books on teaching the sport he loves and created a youth academy in his hometown of Aberdeen, Md. But recently baseball’s once-upon-a-time Ironman has gone global. The Hall of Famer traveled to China in 2007 and Nicaragua last fall as a goodwill ambassador, a special sports envoy appointed by the U.S. State Department. And there, for the first time, Ripken couldn’t teach baseball with words. “You actually had to put their hands together on the bat and sometimes start by swinging for them,” he recalls. “But I think the China trip really captured some of the simplistic feelings we all had as kids. “The mere contact of hitting the ball, the pure joy on some of their faces after they accomplished something they were willing to try, I thought that was pretty cool.” Ripken, now 49, brings his own sort of cool back to Rochester on Monday night. He’s the headliner of the Rochester Press-Radio Club’s Day of Champions children’s charity dinner. Much like Ripken’s remarkable streak of playing in 2,632 consecutive games, which started in 1982 and ended in 1995, Rochester’s biggest sports charity dinner keeps going and going. This is the 60th annual event.
For Ripken, Rochester will always hold a special place in his heart.

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