Baltimore Orioles legend Cal Ripken Jr. said he really just wants to help kids.
"I couldn't be more proud of the work that we do in giving kids a chance just by using the simple game of baseball," Ripken told a group of Giant management, Perry Hall Elementary students and community members. "We use that simple game just to get their attention, then we can talk to them about life."
Across the country, the foundation has partnered with government and community organizations to construct synthetic Youth Development Parks that are used to host baseball and softball programs for disadvantaged youth. Two parks already exist in Maryland.
The foundation is named in memory of Ripken's father, another baseball legend, who died of lung cancer in 1999. "He was all about using baseball, outside of his job, to reach kids who needed a little bit more support," Ripken said.
Ray Cameron, manager of the Perry Hall Giant, said he was honored to host the Ironman.
"I've been an Orioles fan for years and years, and have memories of him from our youth. You can see how he still connects with the young people today. They identify with him immediately," Cameron said.
Ben Anthony-Preis, a fourth grade student who painted his face with "O's" and wore Orioles gear to the event, said he was excited to meet Ripken.
"He's really nice. You can tell he cares about children," he said.
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