“It’s really a celebration of baseball at that level,” said Cal Ripken about the Under Armour All-America Baseball Game. “These kids are good, they’re going to be throwing 95 and they’re going to have guys that can go straight-away center. They’re going to be the next stars.”
For the fourth consecutive year, the Under Armour All-America Baseball Game will be played at Wrigley Field in Chicago, August 13th. The game puts the nation’s best high school junior and senior baseball players on the big stage of a Major League field to feature their talents. For the players, this is an opportunity to show off for scouts Ripken said, “There is a long history of the guys who have been in this game that have been drafted.” Over the last three years, 88 of the eligible players from this game were selected in the MLB Amateur Draft, with 18 first round picks.
And this year’s game will feature not one, not two, but three Ripkens. Cal will be there for a meet-and-greet with the players while his brother Billy is managing one of the teams. “Watching Billy with these kids,” said Cal, “he looks like my dad in the dugout.” But perhaps the most talked about Ripken in this year’s game is Cal’s son Ryan, who has been selected to play. Ripken describes his son as “long and lanky, and he passed me in height right now.” An accomplishment, as Cal Ripken Jr. himself stands at 6’5’’. “It is always good for a son to pass you in height, they get a little extra air in their chest and they stand a little taller when they pass their dad.” Entering his senior year at Gilman School in Baltimore, Ryan hit .353 as a junior and has already been offered scholarships to play baseball for several colleges. "He’s got a lot of potential,” Cal said, “he hits the ball hard, he’s got easy power and he’s an excellent first baseman. He’s got a good target over there, he’s got good hands around the bag.”
Being the father of an Under Armour All-American, Cal Ripken is not short on pride. “Watching Ryan develop as a player, when he does something good, it’s a hundred times greater than when you did something good. It’s just a certain pride that you see and sometimes you get a little choked up when you tell him that you’re proud of him. I’m proud of him and I’d be proud of him if he didn’t play baseball,” said Ripken. But truth be told, that’s what Ripkens do. They play baseball.
The Under Armour All America Game will be played Saturday, August 13 at 1:05pm CST at Wrigley Field in Chicago, IL. The game will be broadcast live on MLB Network.