Ripken's 2,131st likely at home

April 04, 1995|By Buster Olney | Buster Olney,Sun Staff Writer

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Somehow, some way, the American League will make sure that if Cal Ripken plays in his record-breaking 2,131st consecutive game, he will do it at Camden Yards.

That's the impression that Orioles vice chairman for finance Joe Foss got yesterday, when he spoke to representatives of the league.

"I feel very good right now that they will accommodate our request . . . and make sure the game is at home," said Foss, who said he expects to hear something from the league in the next few days. "They are even soliciting our suggestions as to how that can be done."

If the Orioles were to resume the schedule as it stands, Ripken would potentially tie Lou Gehrig's record of 2,130 straight games on Sept. 6 in Camden Yards, vs. California and then break the record in Cleveland on Sept. 8.

The Orioles would not only like to change the schedule so that the potential record-breaker is in Camden Yards, but also to ensure that a rainout or two or three would not alter the site of Ripken's feat. The best way to do that would be to schedule the big game in the middle of an extended homestand.

The Orioles are scheduled to play at home from Aug. 29 to Sept. 6, then travel to Cleveland Sept. 8-10, then return home from Sept. 11-17 against Boston and New York. If the Cleveland series were to be played in Camden Yards, the homestand would be 19 games long, with the potential tying and record-breaking games Nos. 9 and 10 in that stretch.

Anticipating that the AL would flip-flop the Orioles' three-game series in Cleveland on Aug. 14-16 to create that long homestand, many fans bought tickets for those three games yesterday, hoping they'd get to see the record-breaker.

But flip-flopping a three-game Cleveland series in May would be more attractive to the Orioles, because it would create that long homestand during the pennant race, and it would be easier to fit in with the club's itinerary.

No matter what happens, Foss seems certain the game will be in Baltimore. "I had absolutely no feeling of hesitation on their part," Foss said.

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