By: USA TODAY High School Sports | February 9, 2017
Baseball Hall of Famer and “Iron Man” Cal Ripken Jr. will be the featured speaker for the second annual South Dakota Sports Awards organized by Argus Leader Media at the Sanford Pentagon on June 3.
Sanford Health is once again our presenting sponsor for the event, which will honor high school athletes, coaches, teams and community members for their achievements during the 2016-17 school year. Wells Fargo and Nike are also joining the celebration, and the company of the iconic “Swoosh” is honoring high school students active in their community with the I Am Sport Award. Applications are now open for that award.
Ripken, a 19-time All-Star with the Baltimore Orioles, made baseball history by playing in 2,632 consecutive games to break Lou Gehrig’s fabled record of 2,130, which stood for 56 years. The two-time MVP shortstop finished his career with 3,184 hits, 431 home runs, 1,695 runs batted in and two Gold Glove Awards before retiring in 2001. He was a first-ballot Hall of Fame selection in 2007.
Ripken serves as chairman and CEO of Ripken Baseball, which owns multiple minor league baseball teams and supports youth baseball organizations across the country.
Ticket information for the South Dakota Sports Awards will be announced soon. Last year, five-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning headlined the inaugural event to honor more than 100 high school athletes from across the state.
Ripken’s appearance will represent a homecoming of sorts. His father, Cal Sr., served as manager of the Aberdeen Pheasants of the Class A Northern League in 1963-64 and again in 1966, with Cal Jr. and the rest of the family tagging along during these summer stints. The Pheasants were an Orioles affiliate that featured future major-league standouts such as Jim Palmer and Mark Belanger.
Much more information about this year’s event, including ticket sale information, will be available soon.
IF YOU GO
What: South Dakota Sports Awards
When: Saturday, June 3
Where: Sanford Pentagon
Guest speaker: Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr.