Their participation has been exceptional but not intrusive. They realize this is the most meaningful honor that could come to a family -- a museum that tells the story of their involvement with baseball. Most of the displays are from the Ripken collection. Mrs. Ripken even had the Little League uniform son Bill wore while playing in Asheville, N.C., one of the cities where her husband managed for the Orioles in the minor leagues.
The achievements of Cal Jr. are the main focus but, through it all, the theme that's carried out is how the Ripken family has been entwined in baseball. Included in the memorabilia are uniforms Cal Sr. wore for the Aberdeen American Legion, a rather garish yellow and blue; and for the Aberdeen Crabbers of the Susquehanna League. The glove Cal Sr.'s brother, Bill, used as an outfielder in the Dodgers' farm system, is in the same display case.
And also a first baseman's mitt presented to Cal Sr., after he played the position in a one-game emergency at Phoenix in the Arizona-Mexican League. And, of interest, too, is an oversized catcher's mitt, invented by Paul Richards to handle knuckleballs that the elder Ripken once used in the Orioles' bullpen. Even daughter Elly's softball trophies are there, along with team caps that Cal Sr., Cal Jr., Bill and Fred wore at Aberdeen High School.
Getting so much, and more, to fit within 1,500 feet is remarkable. It's a museum that is worthwhile, a compliment to all Ripkens; a positive attraction for Aberdeen, Harford County and Maryland. Informative, inspirational, nostalgic and educational. It touches all the bases.
What: Ripken Baseball Museum
Where: Aberdeen, at U.S. 40 and Bel Air Avenue, adjoining town office building
Hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday and Saturday; noon-3 p.m. Sunday
RTC Tickets: $3 for adults ages 19 to 62; $2 for senior citizens; $1 for students 6 to 18; free for children 5 and younger.
Pub Date: 12/15/96