Two camps organized by Baltimore Orioles great Cal Ripken Jr. will offer more opportunities for youth baseball clinics across the U.S.
- The 62-year-old former Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken Jr., nicknamed “The Iron Man,” is joining in the work of his brother Billy Ripken by helping to expand Ripken Baseball.
- The company announced on January 18 that it will be combining itself with Cooperstown All-Star Village and partnering with billionaires Josh Harris and David Blitzer to “support and accelerate Ripken Baseball’s vision of bringing Big League Experiences to young athletes.” The partnership was finalized earlier this month.
- The partnership will include working with Major League Baseball teams to bring sports to young children, hosting tournaments and youth clinics, and opening a fourth Ripken facility in Elizabethtown, Kentucky—in addition to previous locations in Aberdeen, Maryland, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
- “We’re very proud of what Ripken Baseball stands for, but now we have the opportunity to move in different areas and move much quicker,” says Ripken.
Why It’s Important
The baseball industry in the U.S. is one of its most significant sports leagues, having earned $9.56 billion in 2021. Ripken’s efforts are not just helping to spread the sport to young children and train the next generation of players but also partnering with major league sports teams in the process, like the Cleveland Guardians.
In 2022, Ripken and Cooperstown saw a combined 250,000 participants and 750,000 visitors over its five complexes.
“With this investment and long-term partnership with Josh and David, we can accelerate our growth plans and expand to other sports beyond baseball and softball. Josh and David share our vision for youth sports in America, and we’re extremely excited about what we can accomplish together in the future,” says Ripken.
“By bringing together two incredible youth sports brands and partnering with Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr. and his team, as well as the talented people at Cooperstown All-Star Village, we have a unique opportunity and responsibility to ensure more youth have access to these life-changing experiences,” says Harris.