For the most part, the husband stepped aside when it came to the arrangements, letting his wife take charge.

Earlier this year, the coordinating began for what are essentially three separate parties. And if the invitation is an indication of the weekend, it should be a memorable time for their guests. Wanting an invitation befitting the events, she designed a booklet that resembles a scrapbook, with facts and pictures of her husband's career as well as party specifics.

"I never do anything simple," she said. "When it is an event, it is an event."

The first party, Thursday night, was a small affair - but an important one. It was their son Ryan's 14th birthday, so they celebrated it in Cooperstown with some friends and family. Yesterday, it was a lakeside barbecue sponsored by Maroon PR and mamma ilardo's restaurants.

Tonight, the night before the ceremony, Geppi and the Geier Financial Group are sponsoring a dinner party.

The guest of honor will be at each event. But he'll also be jumping all around Cooperstown.

There was a golf tournament yesterday afternoon and a private dinner with a Hall representative and fellow inductee Tony Gwynn and his wife.

Today, he'll throw out the first pitch of his Aberdeen IronBirds' game at Cooperstown's Doubleday Field. He also will attend an afternoon news conference, an early evening party thrown by the Orioles and evening cocktails with the rest of the Hall of Famers at the museum.

Oh, and then there's the induction ceremony and speech tomorrow.

Good thing he had his own event planner to handle the other commitments.

"It was one less thing he had to worry about and something I enjoyed doing," Kelly Ripken said. "I volunteered. I said, 'I'd do it.' It was great fun."

dan.connolly@baltsun.com