Cal Ripken Jr. said Tuesday that he has signed an endorsement deal with Roy Rogers Restaurants, which has 22 Maryland locations but is seeking to expand into the Baltimore area.
The Hall of Fame baseball player, who played his entire career with the Orioles, said he was attracted by the brand’s philanthropy — and also by nostalgia.
“I remember my mom loved Roy Rogers — not the restaurant but the cowboy,” Ripken said in an interview. “When I was a kid, I loved Roy Rogers’ roast beef sandwich. We’d go with the family and it felt like we were stepping out.”
Roy Rogers has 54 restaurants in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. The Frederick-based Plamondon Cos. owns and operates 24 of the restaurants and oversees 30 franchisees.
The Maryland locations include the Washington suburbs and the southern and western parts of the state, but not Baltimore. The company is promoting its franchise opportunities.
Roy Rogers’ website Tuesday featured Ripken holding a plate of chicken and wearing a shirt with the brand’s logo. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
To help celebrate its 50th anniversary this year, Roy Rogers is offering various promotions, including price rollbacks, prizes and a commemorative cup benefiting the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation and the communities in which the restaurants are located.
The foundation, which focuses on youth development, is named for the player’s father, who died in 1999.
“With their philanthropic side, this seemed a natural match,” Ripken said of Roy Rogers.
Ripken set one of the sport’s most famous records in 1995 when he surpassed Lou Gehrig's mark of 2,130 consecutive games played.
“The legacy of Cal Ripken Jr. and his streak align with our core values at Roy Rogers Restaurants,” said Jim Plamondon, co-president of the restaurants, in a statement. He said those include “dedication and hard work” and the brand’s own “streak” of 50 years.