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Crews Build Ripken’s Field of Dreams in MD

Thu August 09, 2001 - Northeast Edition
Brenda Ruggiero

The city of Aberdeen in Harford County, MD, will soon be the home of an $11-million minor league baseball stadium. The project is the first phase of a $25-million project that will create the Aberdeen Baseball Complex. Besides the minor league stadium, the completed Complex will include a youth baseball academy and six miniature stadiums and ballparks.

The project is under the direction of the Maryland Stadium Authority, which also is working in cooperation with the Town of Aberdeen, Harford County, and private investors who include baseball legends Cal and Billy Ripken (Aberdeen is Cal Ripken’s hometown).

Ripken Stadium will be visible from Interstate 95 and will occupy 30 acres (12 ha). It will include 6,500 seats and have 2,000 adjacent parking spaces. The general contract for the stadium was awarded to Baltimore Contractors of Baltimore for $11.7 million.

Albert Marlowe, project manager for Baltimore Contractors, reported that the total project amount is $18 million. Funding comes from four parties: $6 million from the State of Maryland; $6 million from Cal Ripken’s group, Tufton Sports & Management; $4 million from the city of Aberdeen and $2 million from Harford County.

Work on the 15-month stadium project began in December of last year, with a completion date set at March 2002. Marlowe reported that they are on schedule, and are, in fact, improving their time. The stadium is scheduled to open in April, 2002.

According to Marlowe, the project is a “Tough dirt job. It has none of the strength capabilities, so it’s been a challenge to bring it to satisfactory compaction.”

The site-work contract was awarded to Comer Construction, Baltimore. Other subcontractors, also from the Baltimore area, include Wagman Masonry, Parfrey Construction and Samco for the concrete work, Blumenthal-Kahn for electrical work and Debcor for mechanical work.

When complete, the Complex will cover approximately 50 acres (20 ha). Besides Ripken Stadium, it will include Ripken Youth Baseball Academy and six separate 60-ft. (18 m) fields, all miniature replicas of Major League Baseball parks. Plans are to include Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, Memorial Stadium, Yankee Stadium and Ebbetts Field. The architect is Design Exchange, Newark, DE. There will also be dormitories that will accommodate 24 teams at a time, batting cages, a dining hall and recreation fields.

The Oriole Park replica is planned as the centerpiece of the baseball academy. Scheduled for completion in August 2002, it will be the home of the Cal Ripken World Series. The completion date for the remainder of the academy is set for 2003.

The academy will be the site for camps, clinics and tournaments for youths across the country. In addition, plans are to hold coaches’ clinics, prospect camps and umpire clinics there.

Brenda Ruggiero

Brenda Ruggiero has written for CEG for over 20 years. She lives near the town of Accident in far western Maryland. Her favorite assignments so far involved interviews with Survivor’s Boston Rob and hot dog eating champion Joey Chestnut. Both were involved in construction at one time.

Brenda holds a BA in Mass Communication with a writing focus from Frostburg State University and minors in Public Relations and Political Science. She works full time as a staff writer for a weekly newspaper, the Garrett County Republican. She enjoys feature writing the most, which gives her the opportunity to talk to people and share their stories.

Brenda and her middle school sweetheart, Reuben, have been married for over 34 years and have three grown children and four cats.

Read more from Brenda Ruggiero here.

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