Cal Ripken, Jr.
Served as envoy
- 2007 – China
- 2008 – Nicaragua
- 2011 – Japan
- 2018 – Czech Republic
- 2021 – Japan
Cal Ripken Jr. is baseball’s all-time Iron Man. He was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the second round of the 1978 MLB draft, remaining with the team for 21 seasons in which during his time, was managed by his father and played alongside his brother Billy Ripken
His name appears in the record books repeatedly, most notably as one of only ten players in history to achieve 400 home runs and 3,000 hits. One of his position’s most offensively productive players, Ripken compiled 3,184 hits, 431 home runs, and 1,695 runs batted in during his career. Won two Gold Glove Awards for his defense and was a 19-time All-Star. In 1995, Ripken broke Lou Gehrig’s Major League record for consecutive games played (2,130) and in 1996 he surpassed Sachio Kinugasa’s streak of 2,215 straight games and voluntarily ended his streak on September 20, 1998 after playing 2,632 consecutive games.
On July 29, 2007 he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Cal received the 4th highest percentage of votes in history, collecting the second highest vote total ever (98%) by the BBWAA.
In 2001, he and his family established the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation in memory of the family’s patriarch. The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, using sports-themed programs to bring police officers, youth partners and underserved kids ages 9 to 14 together on a level playing field to learn invaluable life skills. In addition, the Ripken Foundation’s Youth Development Park Initiative creates clean, safe places for kids to play on multi-purpose, synthetic surface fields that promote healthy living in an outdoor recreational facility. Over the last nine years, the Ripken Foundation has created 88 completed parks across the country in 23 states, 17 of which are Adaptive Fields for children with special needs. In 2018, the Ripken Foundation impacted over 1.5 million kids nationwide through its Youth Development Park and mentoring programs.