8 children from Iraq coming to Md. to learn about baseball

Eight children from Iraq and five of their coaches will come to Maryland to learn the ins and outs of baseball at Camden Yards and the Ripken Academy in Aberdeen next week, Ripken Baseball announced today.

Ripken Baseball, a marketing company that represents former Oriole and Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr., is bringing the three boys and five girls -- ages 15 to 17 -- to Maryland, Washington and Virginia as part of a U.S. State Department visitors program.

While in Maryland, the children will watch the Orioles play the Mariners May 11, tour Camden Yards and take a baseball clinic taught by Seattle Mariners designated hitter and All-Star Ken Griffey Jr. May 11 at Camden yards.

The program runs from May 3 to May 13.

This is not the first time Ripken Baseball has worked with the State Department. Ripken was named a public diplomacy special envoy by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in 2007 and took baseball instruction trips to China in 2007 and to Nicaragua in 2008.

An earlier version of this article contained inaccurate information. The Iraqi players are ages 15-17. The Baltimore Sun regrets the error.

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