This article was written by Al Kermisch
This article was published in the 1989 Baseball Research Journal
Cal Ripken Sr., who has spent his entire career in the Baltimore organization as a minor-league player and manager and a major-league scout, coach, and manager, began as a twenty-one-year-old player for Phoenix of the Arizona Mexico League in 1957. Guy LaValliere, two years older than Ripken, was the first-string catcher for Phoenix. Ripken was a back-up catcher and a third baseman and outfielder. After that season Ripken and LaValliere drifted apart. In 1960, LaValliere was catching for Charlotte of the South Atlantic League. On August 18, 1960, his son Mike was born in Charlotte. Than night, at Charlotte’s Griffith Park, Guy celebrated the birth by going 2-for-2, with a double and two runs scored in a 5-1 win over Jacksonville. Six days later, on August 24, Cal Jr. was born in Havre de Grace, Maryland. Cal Sr., playing at Topeka for Earl Weaver’s Fox Cities club in the Three-Eye League, celebrated by driving in the lead run in Fox Cities’ 7-4, 10-inning victory.
Cal Jr. reached the majors with the Orioles in 1981 and today is one of the premier shortstops in the American League. Mike reported to the majors with Philadelphia in 1984, spent several years with St. Louis, and after being traded to Pittsburgh in 1987 established himself as one of the best catchers in the National League.