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Cal Ripken Jr. to host Japanese students

Aug. 9, 2011 at 12:51 PM
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BALTIMORE, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Former Baltimore Orioles star Cal Ripken Jr. will host 16 teenagers from Japan affected by this year's earthquake and tsunami, the State Department says.

Ripken, who has assumed a role as goodwill ambassador for the United States since retiring from the Orioles in 2001, will play host to the students, boys and girls ages 14 to 17, The Baltimore Sun reported Tuesday.

The students arrived in Washington late Monday.

On Thursday the students, some of whom lost relatives in the March 11 quake and tsunami, will visit Baltimore to watch the Orioles play the Chicago White Sox at Camden Yards.

In the next few weeks, they will participate in baseball clinics including at the Ripken Youth Baseball Academy.

Ripken led a similar exchange with Chinese students in 2007.

The Hall of Fame shortstop will travel to Japan in November, his third trip as a public envoy following trips to China in 2007 and Nicaragua in 2008.

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