There's nothing more American than baseball. And there's nothing more Baltimore baseball than the name Ripken.
16 years after Cal Jr.’s retirement we again have a Ripken on the field in the Orioles organization.
Your designated hitter and first baseman for the O’s Class A short season affiliate Aberdeen IronBirds, Ryan Ripken. Yep, Cal’s son.
“It’s going well so far,” said Ryan. “There is familiarity with the Orioles. It’s been not what I expected coming in, to be honest, but in a good way. I feel very comfortable. The people here have been great.”
The 23-year-old signed with the Orioles before the season and was assigned to the team his dad owns. Now he goes to work at the stadium that bears his name as he tries to make his way out of his Hall of Fame father’s shadow.
“I definitely felt, with the name associated, that there would be a lot more pressure, and there still is for sure. But coming into it everyone has just treated me as Ryan and that’s all I want to be treated as,” said Ryan. “I’m my own person and I want to just create my own legacy, whatever that may be. Whatever my family accomplished, that’s great, but I just want everyone to remember me for who I am.”
This is Ryan's fourth minor league season. The previous three were as a member of the Washington Nationals farm system. The bulk of those he missed with ankle injuries. He said he’s healthy and back to enjoying baseball.
“You play as a kid because you love the game and sometimes when you get into professional baseball you get caught up in wanting to do well and play well and the stresses of everything that goes around. But, for me, I got back to the love for the game and to play and be healthy is great.