Celebrating The Streak

September 05, 1995|By Brad Snyder

Think back to 1982. Earl Weaver was the Orioles' manager. Joan Jett sang the nation's No. 1 song. Cal Ripken's consecutive-games streak began.

Weaver and Jett will be part of the festivities at Camden Yards tonight, when Ripken ties Lou Gehrig's record of 2,130 consecutive games.

Weaver, Ripken's first manager, will throw out the first ball, and Jett, the Rockville native whose song, "I Love Rock And Roll," was No. 1 when Ripken's streak started, will sing the national anthem.

Other celebrities and sports figures will be on hand for the next two days, including President Clinton and Vice President Gore, who both will attend tomorrow night's record-breaking game. It will be the first time an American president and vice president have appeared at the same major-league game outside of Washington, D.C., the Orioles said.

Tonight and tomorrow will be special in several other respects. "We will elevate a few things with regards to what we have been doing," said Orioles assistant public relations director Bill Stetka.

The fifth-inning celebration, when the number on the B&O warehouse is updated, will stay relatively the same, and the game will not be stopped, at Ripken's request.

"We're not making it into a spectacle," Stetka said. "I think the fans' reaction will take care of itself."

TODAY

* Gates to Camden Yards open at 5:35 p.m., a half-hour earlier than normal.

* HTS special on Ripken will be shown on JumboTron at 6:30 p.m.

* Tickets will not be torn, but will be stamped with a commemorative seal.

* Ceremonial first pitch by Weaver.

* National anthem performed by Jett.

* ALS Foundation makes a presentation to Ripken in a pre-game ceremony.

* Ripken commemorative baseball from Rawlings will be used in game and available to fans for sale only at Oriole Park.

* Aberdeen, Ripken's hometown, will hold events at Aberdeen High School.

* Post-game ceremony begins five minutes after the game.

TOMORRO

* Gates open at 5:35 p.m., a half-hour earlier than normal.

* HTS special on Ripken will be shown on JumboTron at 6:30 p.m.

* Tickets will not be torn, but will be stamped with a commemorative seal.

* Ceremonial first pitches by Ripken's children, Rachel (5) and Ryan (2).

* National anthem performed by Branford Marsalis and Bruce Hornsby.

* Fans will receive a full-color, fold-out poster featuring a photo of Ripken from 1982 and a corresponding photo to be taken today.

* Post-game ceremony begins five minutes after the game and is expected to include Ripken addressing the crowd.

THURSDAY

* Parade in downtown Baltimore, noon.

* A parade in Aberdeen, 6 p.m.

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