Sunday, August 20, 2006

Mini Ballparks

The Cal Ripken World Series has been taking place since Friday here in the Baltimore area. It's an international little league World Series with teams from all over the world competing.

And since it's free to get in, I figured I'd check it out today. My main interests were the actual 'ballparks'. A little history on this cool project -

Beginning in 2000, in the Ripkens' hometown of Aberdeen, 30 miles north of Baltimore, construction began on the Taj Mahal of kids' baseball parks. The 56-acre facility has cost about $40 million The complex features a 6,500 seat minor league Single-A ballpark (already being called the nicest minor league park in the country), six youth diamonds dressed up as classic parks, and a camp/conference center with room to sleep 400.

In one category, Ripken already appears to be out-Littling the Little League World Series: corporate sponsors. Corporations, many with long-standing ties to Cal, are ponying up as much as $500,000 to sponsor the Ripken Series. Title sponsor Chevy Trucks will have outfield billboards and will air commercials featuring Ripken. Other sponsors are paying to attach their names to events, including the Century 21 Home Run Hitting Contest.

I've been to the Single A park once, but the youth parks were just recently completed. Here are some pics I took while visiting there today -

Cal Ripken Sr. park (scale replica of Oriole Park @ Camden Yards)

(click pics to enlarge)

scale replica of Fenway Park

scale replica of the O's old ballpark - Memorial Stadium

scale replica of Wrigley Field