Ripken World Series begins weeklong run


The Ripken Baseball Complex in Aberdeen is going to be busy for the next week, much to the delight of Cal and Bill Ripken.

Opening ceremonies for the seventh Cal Ripken 12-and-under World Series, the fourth in Aberdeen, are set to begin at 9:45 a.m. today with team introductions followed by skills competitions, a home run derby and a picnic.

The games start tomorrow at noon. Five international teams - Australia, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and the Republic of Korea - and 10 from the United States, including Harford County champion Hickory/Fountain Green, will play at Cal Sr.'s Yard and its three adjoining fields at the Ripken Academy.

In addition, the Aberdeen IronBirds will be home for three days, and Ripken Stadium, across the street from the academy, will host the short-season Single-A New York-Penn League All-Star Game on Wednesday.

However, the week's centerpiece is the Cal Ripken World Series. In 1999, the Bambino division of Babe Ruth Baseball was renamed Cal Ripken Baseball. There are more than 700,000 youngsters between the ages of 5 and 12 playing Cal Ripken Baseball around the world, and for many getting to Aberdeen is their summer dream.

Those who can't get to Aberdeen will still be able to see the series.

The last seven games will be televised live on OLN, the cable network that airs the National Hockey League, Tour de France and America's Cup. OLN and Ripken Baseball reached an agreement to televise the World Series through 2007.

"The OLN partnership will give Babe Ruth League a great opportunity to showcase its premier event on a national level," Cal Ripken said.

After round-robin play, during which each of the 15 teams plays four games, OLN will carry live Friday's four international and U.S. playoff games, the international and U.S. championship games on Saturday and Sunday's World Series final, international vs. U.S., at 5 p.m.

All the playoff games will be played at Cal Sr.'s Yard, a miniature replica of Camden Yards complete with the warehouse backdrop in right field.

The series was played at Cal Sr.'s Yard for the first time last summer, but there was no warehouse-like backdrop. A hotel (not yet occupied) has been constructed behind the right-field fence.


At a glance

TV -- OLN. Playoff games at noon, 2:35 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7:35 p.m. Friday; international final at 4 p.m. and U.S. final at 6:35 p.m. Saturday; World Series final at 5:05 p.m. Sunday.

Admission -- Free. Obtain tournament passes for all 37 games at front gate of Cal Sr.'s Yard beginning today at 9 a.m.

Online --

Round-robin schedule(all times p.m. unless noted)

Games played at Cal Sr.'s Yard (C), Fenway (F), Memorial (M) and Wrigley (W)


Hilo, Hawaii, vs. Kennewick, Wash., noon (F) Canada vs. Dominican Republic, 1 (W) Newtown, Conn., vs. Bryant, Ark., 2:30 (F) Mexico vs. Korea, 3:30 (W) Farmington, Mo., vs. Satsuma, Ala., 6 (C) Lexington, Ky., vs. Harford County, 8 (C)


Newtown vs. Hilo, noon (M) Lexington vs. Bronx, 1 (W) Kennewick vs. St. Mary's County, 2:30 (M) Harford County vs. Farmington, 3:30 (W) Australia vs. Canada, 6 (C) Mexico vs. Dominican Republic, 8 (C)


Farmington vs. Lexington, noon (M) Korea vs. Canada, 1 (F) Bronx vs. Satsuma, 2:30 (M) Dominican Republic vs. Australia, 3:30 (F) St. Mary's County vs. Hilo, 6 (C) Bryant vs. Kennewick, 8 (C)


Satsuma vs. Lexington, 11 a.m., (F) Canada vs. Mexico, noon (M) Hilo vs. Bryant, 1:30 (W) Newtown vs. St. Mary's County, 4 (C) Harford County vs. Bronx, 6 (C) Korea vs. Australia, 8 (C)


St. Mary's County vs. Bryant, 11 a.m., (F) Kennewick vs. Newtown, 11 a.m. (W) Bronx vs. Farmington, 1:30 (F) Satsuma vs. Harford County, 1:30 (M) Australia vs. Mexico, 4 (W) Dominican Republic vs. Korea, 4 (M)



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