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My Generation

Cal Ripken and His Family's Nonprofit Group Go to Bat for Children

Disadvantaged kids learn respect, teamwork, ethics



Back to Play Ball! Main PageAs one of the most recognizable names in baseball, Cal Ripken Jr. is a living legend. The Hall of Famer played professional ball with the Baltimore Orioles for 21 years and is one of only eight players in history to achieve 400 home runs and 3,000 hits in his career.

Ripken earned himself the nickname "Iron Man" when he broke Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive games played. Today, his name has become synonymous with strength, character, perseverance and integrity. Although his professional baseball days are over, "Number 8" has found new ways to stay in the game and have a positive impact on others.

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Following the example of his benevolent father, Ripken is now using his fame to level the playing field for children across the country. In 2001, he and his family established the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, a nonprofit organization determined to uplift kids in some of America's most distressed communities. The foundation helps to build character and teach critical life lessons to disadvantaged young people through curriculum and, of course, baseball-themed programs. The Badges for Baseball Program, for example, links youngsters with local role models who show them how to grow up "the Ripken way," teaching them respect, teamwork, ethics and more. For a man who's had all the accolades and applause one can imagine in a career, it's these crowds of kids and the impact he has on them that he cherishes the most.

My Generation steps up to the plate to reveal how this celebrated slugger is still a hit on and off the field.

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