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Fame & Fortune: Bill Ripken
Some investments are risky, but they're in his dream

Bill RipkenAh, the Ripken name.

For generations, it has been synonymous with baseball, hard work and family values. Bill Ripken -- formerly known as Billy Ripken -- is the son of the late Orioles manager Cal Ripken Sr. and brother of the retired baseball legend, Cal Ripken Jr. Bill himself played in the major leagues for more than 12 years, half with his family and the Baltimore Orioles, the rest in Texas, Cleveland and Detroit.

Known for spectacular defensive plays, Bill Ripken led all major league second basemen in fielding percentage in 1992 and led the Orioles in hitting in 1990. He retired in 1998, three years before his brother.

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In 2001, Bill became the co-owner and executive vice president of Ripken Baseball, the corporation set up to handle the many business opportunities of brother Cal Jr. Presently, the company has five subsidiaries: Ripken Baseball Camps and Clinics; Ripken Professional Baseball, the Aberdeen (Md.) IronBirds; The Aberdeen Project; Ripken Management & Design and the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation. In 2004, Bill toured with his brother to promote their book, "Play Baseball the Ripken Way." Additionally, Bill is known as an inspiring, yet self-deprecating, public speaker, rallying local chamber of commerce meetings and corporate seminars alike.

Bankrate: You and your family have made a commitment to your hometown of Aberdeen, Md. How did you decide to do that?

Bill Ripken: Could we have built our complex in other areas? Yes. But dad was the ultimate in our lives, and he was from Aberdeen.

Bankrate: With all of your public service, have you ever thought of running for public office?

Bill Ripken: (Laughs) Well, we've had snags or hiccups, you have that in any job, were we've said, "There must be an easier way." I've really tried to push my mom into running, but she wants no part of it. There's never a 100-percent-smooth road. I try to make the case for the good of the area. But, I compare the job of a politician to being an umpire: Both sides will yell at you. Eighteen people on the other side will be unhappy. And, most likely, you'll have at least 40,000 people in the stands angry with you.

-- Posted: July 12, 2005




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