Cal Ripken Jr., who has been inducted into about every Hall of Fame possible, can add another to the list. It was announced today that he has been elected to the International League Hall of Fame.
Ripken played one season in the IL – but it was a good one. He batted .288 with 23 homers and 75 RBIs in 1981 with the Rochester Red Wings, the Orioles' Triple A affiliate at the time. Those numbers earned him the 1981 International League Rookie of the Year Award.
He will be inducted this year with another National Baseball Hall of Famer, Wade Boggs, who played in the IL with the Pawtucket Red Sox, and former big leaguer Steve Balboni, who spent three years in the IL with the Columbus Clippers.
One interesting note about Ripken, Boggs and the International League: The two of them participated in the longest game in pro baseball history, a 33-inning contest that started on Saturday, April 18, 1981 and was suspended at 4:07 a.m. on Easter Sunday morning after the 32nd inning. It resumed again on June 23 and eventually ended in 33 innings with Pawtucket winning 3-2. Ripken and Boggs combined for six hits and one RBI in 25 at-bats.
Total time of game was eight hours and 25 minutes. I assume the IL induction ceremony will take less time.
Speaking of honors, The Sun has announced that my buddy, baseball-writing colleague and Orioles Insider maverick Jeff Zrebiec has been named 2010 Maryland Sportswriter of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
I am extremely happy for Jeff, even though it is an award that Peter Schmuck has won multiple times, taking a little shine off the apple. This honor for Zrebiec comes on the heels of his induction into The Bald Guys Hall of Fame (Cal's already in that one, too).
In all seriousness, unless you work with Jeff closely, it's impossible to understand how much time and dedication he devotes to the profession and to bringing you, the readers, the most accurate and updated Orioles information possible.
Congrats, Z. Don't let the success go to your bald noggin.
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