Ripken Baseball is a sales and marketing company based in Baltimore, MD that represents all business and philanthropic efforts of Cal Ripken, Jr. and Bill Ripken.
Established in 2001, the mission of Ripken Baseball is to grow the game of baseball worldwide “The Ripken Way.” Ripken Baseball was formerly known as The Tufton Group that was in operation from 1991-2000. It was originally established to handle all of the off-field opportunities for Cal Ripken, Jr. and establish a business base for Ripken upon his retirement.
Upon Cal’s retirement, the organization expanded its focus to include four distinct entities: Ripken Design, Youth Camps and Clinics, the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation and the Aberdeen IronBirds. A fifth division, Ironclad Authentics, was later formed to oversee Ripken Baseball’s corporate licensing, including the name and likeness of Cal Ripken, while also managing Cal’s signature and developing and operating the new internet on-line retail store – www.ironcladauthentics.com.
With plans to replicate the successful minor league business model that was developed for the Aberdeen IronBirds, Ripken Baseball purchased its second minor league team in 2005: the Augusta GreenJackets. With this purchase, Ripken Professional Baseball was formed with the lofty goal of acquiring 10 teams in 10 years.
Ripken Baseball has taken another step towards that goal by purchasing its third minor league team, Charlotte Stone Crabs. The new team will serve as the Class A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays in the Florida State League, and will be playing out of Port Charlotte, FL starting in 2009. The stadium in Charlotte County will also serve as the Spring Training home for the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Ripken Baseball Group oversees and manages these subsidiaries and is responsible for developing, maintaining and growing the brand of Ripken.