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Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 15, 2007


Envoy Cal Ripken Jr. Embarks on Visit to China

Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. will travel to China on October 28, 2007 on his first trip as an American Public Diplomacy Envoy for the U.S. Department of State. He was named to the post by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on August 13.

Ripken will visit Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. In July 2007, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs sponsored an exchange visit by 12 baseball coaches from those cities. While in the U.S. the coaches received training at baseball academies run by Ripken Baseball and Major League Baseball. These coaches will assist Ripken with his baseball activities in China.

In each city, Ripken will engage with youth in a cross-cultural dialogue while introducing the game of baseball to new audiences. He will visit schools and clubs, run baseball skills clinics, and share his personal story and life experiences. He will return to the United States on November 6.

“This is a very exciting trip and the fact that I am serving my country is a tremendous honor. Our organization, Ripken Baseball, has been helping to grow the game at the grassroots level throughout the United States since my playing career ended. To have the opportunity to do this worldwide with the help of the State Department is very gratifying,” said Ripken.

Secretary of State Rice added, “Public diplomacy must be a dialogue with people from around the world and sought out and conducted not only by people like us in government, but by committed Americans from all walks of life. Cal Ripken embodies the best that sports have to offer and we are thrilled that he will be working for our country on this trip and other trips in the future.”

For more information, please contact Darlene Kirk, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, at 202-203-5060 or kirkdx@state.gov.

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Released on October 15, 2007

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