Welcome back IronBirds fans! Often when talking to fans at games, people do not know what is behind the hotel across the street. The Ripken Experience is so much more than just Ripken Stadium and the IronBirds. Here in Aberdeen, we have a facility that has created the path for players to follow starting at age 7 all the way up to playing for the IronBirds.
Behind the hotel, lays 8 additional baseball fields. If you ever look at the hotel across from Ripken Stadium, you may notice that it resembles the warehouse at Camden Yards. All of the fields across the street are built to scale and resemble professional stadiums. Cal Sr.’s Yard resembles Camden Yards complete with the warehouse and even foul poles from Memorial Stadium. The Ripken Experience hosts tournaments almost every weekend from Mid-March until Mid-November along with a few camps in the summer and over spring break. The goal is to teach these players the Ripken Way and help to develop them into the best players they will be. The Cal Ripken World Series is held every year on Cal Sr.’s Yard where the best 12 year olds in the world come to play.
The next step for any Maryland high school baseball player is to play in the Maryland State Championships. Each year, the MPSSAA and the MIAA state championships are held at Ripken Stadium. There have been many IronBirds that have played in these state championships including recent IronBirds Joe Velleggia and Alex Murphy.
Another step an IronBirds player could take is playing in a collegiate game at Ripken Stadium. In the past Ripken Stadium has hosted Maryland versus Georgia Tech. It is definitely a possibility that Ripken Stadium could host more collegiate games in the future.
As the IronBirds go into our 13th season, the chances of seeing a player on the IronBirds roster that has played in a youth, high school, or a collegiate game at the Ripken Experience are definitely growing. We will have to wait until June to see if any of the 2014 IronBirds have been taught the Ripken Way.
Don’t forget IronBirds fans to keep sending your Mailbox Monday questions to email@example.com and check back Monday to see if yours gets answered!
Until then…Go IronBirds!