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Cal Ripken's hometown to celebrate his record feat with 3 days of events


Aberdeen, Cal Ripken Jr.'s hometown, will hold a three-day celebration to honor him this week when he breaks Lou Gehrig's consecutive games streak.

Barring an injury or calamity, Mr. Ripken will play in his 2,130th consecutive game Tuesday at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, tying Gehrig's record. He is expected to break the record Wednesday night.

Mayor Chuck Boutin said the events will be a fitting tribute to Mr. Ripken, whose family has lived in the Aberdeen area for four generations.

"He typifies how any parent would like to see their children turn out," Mr. Boutin said. "Children can model themselves after this guy. If you work hard, stick with your family, and don't abuse yourself, in the end you'll succeed. Cal is the best thing baseball has right now."

Mr. Boutin said an outpouring of volunteers has enabled the city to hold a series of events marking Mr. Ripken's passage into the baseball record books.

Signs at Aberdeen boundaries that say "Welcome to Aberdeen, Home of Cal Ripken" are among the most visible results of the volunteer effort. The signs also announce the number of games left until Mr. Ripken breaks Gehrig's record.

Sign materials were donated by Viele and Co., an Aberdeen lumber business. Jerry Bounds, owner of Bounds Appliance and Furniture, changes the number after every Orioles game.

Here's a listing of events planned to honor Cal Ripken:

* Tomorrow: The Aberdeen High School Marching Band will perform the national anthem as part of the pregame show for the Orioles game at 1:35 p.m.

* Tuesday and Wednesday: The Orioles games will be shown at 7:35 p.m. on a 15-foot-by-20-foot television screen in the newly renovated football stadium at Aberdeen High School. Tickets cost $3 in advance and $4 at the gate; children under 6 are admitted free. Proceeds will benefit the high school. Gates open at 6 p.m., and a short film about Cal Ripken will be shown by the Middle Atlantic Milk Marketing Association preceding the game.

Refreshments will be sold.

You can bring lawn chairs and blankets. Tickets are available at all Harford National Bank branches, Aberdeen City Offices, Aberdeen Stationery, Bounds Appliance and Furniture, Harford Lanes, Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce and New Ideal Diner. They also can be obtained at O'Conor Piper and Flynn in Aberdeen, Hit and Run Card Shop, Curry Agency, Boyd and Fulford Drugs in Bel Air, Metro Auto Parts in Aberdeen, Shortstop Beverage Barn and Atlantic Savings Bank in Aberdeen.

* Wednesday: At Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Mr. Boutin will present Mr. Ripken with a framed citation from the mayor and City Council of Aberdeen.

* Thursday: The Aberdeen High School Marching Band will perform in a parade honoring Mr. Ripken in downtown Baltimore. The entire Orioles team will participate in the parade, which begins at noon at Centre and Charles streets.

* Thursday: A Ripken Tribute Parade will start at 6 p.m. at Aberdeen High School and will include floats and marching units from Harford high schools. Members of Mr. Ripken's family and former Orioles are expected to participate. The parade will end at Festival Park on Howard Street, where there will be a ceremony and unveiling of Ripken Plaza, a courtyard in front of City Hall.

City Hall is the future home of the Ripken Museum, scheduled to open early next year.

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