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Cal Ripken World Series to leave Aberdeen

Posted at 6:03 PM, Sep 22, 2016

It represents the best of the best 11 and 12-year-old baseball players from around the world and occasionally some of Harford County's finest would shine in the Cal Ripken World Series.

"You know this facility is in our back yard,” said Coach Joe McIlhenney as his Hickory Hornets headed into the national championship game a few years ago, “It's special for us to have it right where we live and being here in this time and in this moment, it's something they're never going to forget."

But now the event in Harford County also will be reduced to a memory.

"It's sad for Harford County... most definitely,” said Sherry Raitt, “I'm sure it was a big promotion for us."

In a letter to the editor to the Aegis,  the Iron Man said he'll look back on the years in Harford County with great fondness.

People living in the area are now letting out a collective sigh.

"That's why they made the new hotels so people would have somewhere to stay," Destiny Mann said.

Gregory Pizzuto is the director of tourism for “Visit Harford!”.

"The first reaction was disappointment, but at the same time when I look at it from a business perspective and you look at it and they're talking about a $100,000 loss every year and it's been 13 years, that is significant,” said Pizzuto, “At the same time though, the Cal Ripken World Series will still continue just not unfortunately here in Aberdeen."

Pizzuto says local businesses may not even feel the impact as the World Series moves on.

"Internationally, it's well known, but what happens is those international kids that come here---they're staying in host families. When Ripken Baseball holds a tournament here in town, those people are staying in our hotel rooms and eating in our hotels and spending more money."

Pizzuto says Ripken Baseball hosts as many as 50 big tournaments and other events each year, and the Ironbirds just signed on with the Orioles for another two years so even without the World Series, there's still plenty to celebrate.

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