Cal Ripken Jr.: opening session keynote speaker.

Position:135th Congress of Correction
 
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Monday, August 8, 2005

8:15 a.m.-10:00 a.m. * Baltimore Convention Center

Calvin Edwin Ripken Jr., best known as Cal Ripken Jr., whose legendary playing career spanned the last two decades of the 20th Century, will be the keynote speaker at the American Correctional Association's 135th Congress of Correction Opening Session. Nicknamed the "Iron Man" because of the strength, character, endurance and integrity he has shown both on and off the baseball field, Mr. Ripken's presence will serve as an inspiration to the corrections professionals in attendance.

Mr. Ripken retired from baseball in October 2001 after 21 seasons with the Baltimore Orioles. As one of just seven players in history to achieve 400 runs and 3,000 hits, Cal Ripken made his name a permanent fixture in the record books. He is best known, however, for playing the most consecutive games in baseball history, beating New York Yankee first baseman Lou Gehrig's record of 2,130 and ending his own streak in 1998 with 2,632 consecutive games played.

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Born August 24, 1960, to Cal (who coached for the Baltimore Orioles system starting in 1976) and Vi Ripken in Havre de Grace, Maryland, Mr. Ripken was drafted out of Aberdeen High School into the minor league by the Orioles in 1978. In August 1981, after nearly four years in the minors, Mr. Ripken broke into the major leagues with the Orioles. Despite seeing limited action with the Orioles following the conclusion of a players' strike, Ripken was named the International League Rookie of the Year.

On May 30, 1982 Mr. Ripken launched his amazing streak playing third base against the Toronto Blue Jays. He was soon moved to shortstop by manager Earl Weaver, in the face of criticism by sportswriters and fans alike, who thought Mr. Ripken, at 6'4", was too tall to play the key defensive position. Despite the initial protest, he would prove an ideal choice for the position and eventually redefine the role. In 1983, as a follow-up to his impressive rookie season, Mr. Ripken earned the American Leagues' Most Valuable Player honors and was named Player of the Year by the Sporting News.

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On Sept. 5, 1995, Mr. Ripken caught up to Gehrig's 2,130 consecutive games played record and earned a five-minute standing ovation from the crowd in Camden Yards. The following night, he surpassed Gehrig's 56-year-old record by playing his 2,131st consecutive game. This feat earned him recognition in Sports Illustrated...

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