Aberdeen: Legendary sports events figures in Aberdeen remembered

The love of sports is legendary in Aberdeen. Sports figures and sports events have always been very important in daily life, and a number of outstanding athletes call Aberdeen their home.

The Ripken family is famous for its contributions to the sports world. Although the Aberdeen Room is not a sports museum, we do have a number of sports exhibits and files concerning all aspects of the careers of members of the Ripken family, as well as other sports figures throughout the years.


Thanks to sports fans, we have had many donations of memorabilia and publications to fill the display cases and file drawers. Joe Swisher brought an armload of goodies to add to the collections. Remember the Ripken Museum, its opening and gifts to charter members? Included is a souvenir baseball bat given to charter members that had the inscription "Iron Man Unveiling April 2, 1997." Included is a program for the unveiling of the statue donated byCal Ripken Jr.and a souvenir pin "I was there."

The unveiling event all began at 5:30 p.m. with the Aberdeen High School Band and the 389th Army Band. The ceremony began at 6 p.m. on that evening of April 2, 1997, with a welcome by Jim McMahan, president of the Ripken Museum, and his introduction of speakers, including Mayor Charles Boutin, Gov. Parris Glendening, and John Steadman of The Baltimore Sun as keynote speaker. Members of the Ripken family, including children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Arend and Clara Ripken, unveiled the statue done by artist Susan Luery. The evening followed with an opening day buffet at the Tidewater Grille in Havre de Grace.


Among the sports donations are newspapers published during the career of Cal Ripken Jr.The Sun special sections: "Hometown Hero," Iron Will," "Pride of Aberdeen" and "Immortal Cal" from September 1995. "Ripken Legacy" from The Sun of October 2001 and The Aegis of October 2001, "Cal, Hometown Hero," and Aegis of Oct. 10, 2001 "Cal Retires."

Ripken Stadium memorabilia include "Stadium Guide" of June 14, 2002 and "Cal's Vision" and "Inaugural Season" of June 14, 2002.

Jim Lindsey brought clippings from The APG News from March 15, "Women's Event Honors History, Rosie the Riveter," in celebration of Women's History Month. He also brought a copy of a photo from The Baltimore Sun that shows Betty Knapp in a vintage dress as she prepares to attend a 1967 Aberdeen Diamond Jubilee event from a mock funeral of Mr. Razor.

Ed Illick brought a clipping from The Wall Street Journal that tells of "Celestial Event that sparked a Revolution: Venus to Pass in Front of the Sun," on June 5 and 6 of this year-a remarkable event that happens every 250 years!

Ruth and Brian Peters sent a copy of the eulogy for John Lichi, May 1, 1926 to April 8, 2012, who passed away in Salisbury. The family is well-remembered in Aberdeen.

We would like to thank Charles Bennett for the donation of Gerbera daisies for our exterior flower pots. He noticed that they did not contain flowers he passed the museum, so he kindly planted them. What a community spirit!