Bush taps commissioner for T-ball league: Ripken

Former Oriole selected for honorary appointment


WASHINGTON - Cal Ripken received a posting at the White House yesterday: honorary commissioner of President Bush's T-ball league.

The former Orioles great will be on hand Sunday on the South Lawn when a schedule of T-ball games resumes, said Ari Fleischer, the White House spokesman. Two teams - from Trenton, N.J., and Uniondale, N.Y. - will play in a game that had originally been scheduled for Sept. 16. It was postponed indefinitely after the terrorist attacks earlier that week.

"This is a sign of Cal Ripken's ongoing dedication to the sport of baseball, a sport he has done so much for," Fleischer said.

"The president asked me if I wanted to be commissioner of his T-ball league," Ripken told the Associated Press. "I asked him how I was qualified."

He said Bush replied, "You know how to have fun and play baseball."

The president, a baseball enthusiast himself, established the T-ball league last year as part of the White House Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives. Officials said the president wanted to give mostly disadvantaged children the chance to see and play baseball in the back yard of the White House.

- David L. Greene

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