Although his Major League debut did not come until the summer of 1981, Cal Ripken, Jr. started his career at Memorial Stadium way before that.
At the age of 13, when other little leaguers were playing catch in their backyards, Cal took to the diamond with the Baltimore Orioles for fielding practice and, sometimes caught a little BP, which was thrown by Cal Ripken, Sr., an Orioles coach. Cal Junior's shagging balls alongside grown professionals caused no stir. In fact, his six-foot stature and tremendous coordination and athleticism led fansand even some of the newer Oriolesto believe he was a member of the team.
By the time he reached high school, Ripken was already peppering the outfield stands of Memorial Stadium, foreshadowing his record-breaking career. Baltimore snagged Junior in the second round of the 1978 amateur draft, when he was only 17.
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