Guest Speaker Cal Ripken, Jr.
Nicknamed “The Iron Man,” is an America former baseball shortstop and third baseman.
Cal Ripken, Jr. is the personification of leadership, commitment, and excellence. He broke several professional baseball records during his 21 seasons, but none as sacred as his consecutive-games-played record. Shattering Lou Gehrig’s streak of 2,131 games by more than 500, Ripken displayed perseverance, endurance, and an everyday work ethic that transformed him into a national icon. A former baseball shortstop and third baseman who played 21 seasons for the Baltimore Orioles (1981–2001). Ripken compiled 3,184 hits, 431 home runs, and 1,695 runs batted in during his career. In 2007, he was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
Born in Maryland, Ripken, Jr. was drafted by the Orioles in the second round of the 1978 MLB Draft. He reached the major leagues in 1981 as a third baseman, but the following year, he was shifted to shortstop, his long-time position for Baltimore. That year, Ripken began his consecutive games played streak. In 1983, he won a World Series championship and in 1995 he broke the consecutive games played record on September 6, during his 2,131st consecutive game. Ripken voluntarily ended his 17-year streak at 2,632 games in 1998. He switched back to third base for the final five years of his career. In 2001, his final season, Ripken was named the All-Star Game MVP and was honored with the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award.
One of the most popular athletes of his generation, baseball’s “Iron Man,” aims to inspire athletes through remarkable experiences. He is considered one of the best shortstops and third basemen in baseball history. At 6’4” and 225 pounds, he pioneered the way for the success of taller, larger shortstops. He is behind Derek Jeter and Honus Wagner for most hits by a shortstop. He continues to be active in charity work, and is still considered an ambassador of the game. The best-selling author and President and CEO of Ripken Baseball, Inc., his goal is to grow the love of baseball from a grassroots level and inspire members of all ages to achieve their own brand of success.