Bill Ripken Biography
Billy Ripken (William Oliver Ripken) nicknamed Billy the Kid is a popular American former professional baseball infielder. Ripken played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1987 to 1998 for the Baltimore Orioles (1987-1992, 1996), Texas Rangers (1993-94, 1997), Cleveland Indians (1995), and Detroit Tigers (1998). Throughout his career, he batted and threw right-handed. Ripken currently serves as a radio host for XM Satellite Radio and a studio analyst for MLB Network.
Billy Ripken Education
Ripken attended Aberdeen High School, where he played baseball, and after graduation was drafted by the Orioles in the 11th round of the 1982 MLB draft.
Billy Ripken Career
Minor league career
Prior to the 1982 Major League Baseball draft, Cal Jr., his brother was on his way to winning the Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year Award with the Orioles. The Orioles would end up picking Bill in the 11th round of the draft. He started his career the same year with the Rookie League Bluefield Orioles, where he played mostly shortstop and third base. Ripken then posted a batting average of .244 with 11 hits and 4 runs batted in, in 27 games in which he only totaled 45 at-bats.
In the following season, he remained at Bluefield and was used almost exclusively as a shortstop, despite also pitching the final 2/3 of a game, allowing no runs. Ripken batted .217 with 33 hits and 13 RBI in 48 games. He was then elevated to the Hagerstown Suns of the Class A Carolina League in 1984, where he appeared in 115 games. Ripken batted .230 with 94 hits, the first 2 home runs of his career, and 40 RBI while posting a .948 fielding percentage at shortstop.
His 1985 season would be split between three teams. Ripken spent most of the year with the Daytona Beach Admirals of the Class A Florida State League, batting .230 with 51 hits and 18 RBI. Also, he appeared in 14 games with Hagerstown and 18 games with the Double-A Charlotte O’s of the Southern League, batting .255 and .137, respectively with those teams. Ripken did not hit a home run in 1985.
The whole of the 1986 season, he played for Charlotte batting .268 with 142 hits, 20 doubles, 3 triples, 5 home runs, and 62 RBI in 141 games. He also led the Southern League in 4 fielding categories. Ripken was later called up to the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings of the International League, where he played 74 games, batting .286 in 1987.
Major League Baseball career
Baltimore Orioles (1987-92)
The Orioles released Rick Burleson and called Ripken up to replace him in July 1987. On July 11, he debuted, creating the first instance in baseball history in which a father managed 2 sons on the same major league team, as his father was the Orioles’ manager and his brother was their shortstop. There he played alongside his brother, Cal Ripken Jr., and was managed by his father, Cal Sr., from 1987 to 1988. He did not have a hit in his debut but picked up his first hit as one of 2 against Charlie Leibrandt of the Kansas City Royals on July 16. Ripken was then given the team’s second base role in 1988, with his brother at shortstop, the pair formed the team’s double-play combination.
Six games into the season, Cal Sr. was fired as the team’s manager, the quickest managerial firing in major league history. Billy instantly changed his uniform number from 3 to his father’s 7. The team lost their first 21 games of the season en route to a 54-107 finish. In his rookie season, he played a career-high 150 games, batting .207 with 106 hits, 2 home runs, 34 RBI, and a .984 fielding percentage. Ripken had a broken hand that caused him to miss the first 2 weeks of 1989 but came back on April 19. However, he played until late August, when he was sidelined by a strained right shoulder, coming back on September 7, but did not play much in the season.
In a 9-8 win against the Boston Red Sox, the brothers combined for 7 hits, the American League (AL) record for brothers in the same game. He batted .239 with 76 hits, 2 home runs, 26 RBI, in 115 games, and a .981 fielding percentage, which was third in the AL. In 1990, he had his most successful campaign offensively. Ripken batted .291, the highest total of his career and a mark that would lead the Orioles in 1990. He also tied with Carl. Jr., for the team lead in doubles (28), completed 5th among AL second basemen with a .987 fielding percentage and led AL hitters with 17 sacrifice hits. The brothers committed a total of 11 errors, the fewest in major league history among second baseman-shortstop combinations that appeared in at least two-thirds of their team’s games at their respective positions.
He then missed several games in 1991 with an injury. Ripken’s batting average dropped to .216 that year and he had 62 hits, no home runs, and 14 RBI in 104 games. He did not qualify for a spot in the top five in the AL with a .986 fielding percentage, while his brother won the Major League Baseball Most Valuable Player Award. In 1992, Mark McLemore shared second base with him. He hit what would be a career-high 4 home runs, batting .230 with 76 hits and 36 RBI in 111 games. Ripken had a .993 fileding percentage. Following the 1992 season, the Orioles acquired Harold Reynolds, which signaled the end of his days with the team. The team officially ended his tenure by releasing him following the season.
Texas Rangers (1993-1994)
In 1993, the Texas Rangers signed Bill to play second base after Jeff Frye severely injured his knee. Ripken started the season as their second baseman, but after batting .204 to open the year he lost the role in May to Doug Strange. He then returned to the starting lineup at shortstop on June 4. However, Ripken suffered a pulled left hamstring on June 20, an injury that would keep him out of the rest of the season apart from a few games in September.
In 50 games, Ripken batted what would be a career-low .189, with 25 hits, 4 extra-base hits (all doubles), and 11 RBI. He became a free agent following the season but re-signed with the Rangers on December 18. Ripken then batted .309 for the team but was used sparingly as a utility player making only 32 appearances. Following the season, he again became a free agent.
Cleveland Indians (1995)
Bill signed with the Cleveland Indians in 1995 but spent almost the whole season with the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons of the American Association. The Indians had told him he was only around for insurance in case one of their infielders was injured. At Buffalo, he made the American Association All-Star team and ranked among league leaders in games (130; 5th), hits (131; 8th), and doubled (34; 3rd, behind John Marzano’s 41 and Tracy Woodson’s 35). Ripken was then called up in September and batted .412 in 8 games for the Indians before becoming a free agent following the season.
Return to Texas Rangers (1997)
In 1997, Bill again returned to a team when he signed with the Rangers. At first, he was used as a utility man and then took over at shortstop from Benji Gil on June 12 after batting .314 to begin the season. On the same day, Ripken had the first RBI in interleague history, a single against Mark Gardner in a 4-3 defeat by the San Francisco Giants. Ripken’s stay as a starter did not last long, though he suffered a herniated disk in his back on June 17. However, he would return to play several more games that season for the Rangers but failed to remain the starting shortstop. Ripken batted .276 with 56 hits, 3 home runs, and 24 RBI in 71 games. Following the season, he again became a free agent.
Detroit Tigers (1998)
In December 1997, the Detroit Tigers signed him and gave him the starting shortstop role to start the 1998 season due to a broken ankle suffered by Deivi Cruz in the offseason. However, following 27 games, in which Ripken hit .276, he was placed on the disabled list with a knee injury. Ripken went to a rehab assignment in June, but the Tigers decided to release him instead of reinstating him from the disabled list. This would be his last major league tenure, and he opted to retire.
Following retiring from baseball, Billy partnered with Cal to form Ripken Baseball, which owns three minor league teams, the Aberdeen IronBirds, Augusta Greenjackets, and Charlotte Stone Crabs. Ripken Baseball and MBL.com, the official website of Major League Baseball, launched GetGreat.com on March 6, 2009. It is a youth baseball instructional site. He is currently a studio analyst for MLB Network and a radio personality for SiriusXM.
Ripken has participated in the writing of several books relating to the development of young baseball players. Together with his brother, he wrote Play Baseball the Ripken Way: The Complete Illustrated Guide to the Fundamentals, and co-authored by Larry Burke in 2005. Working alongside Rick Wolff, the brothers launched the book Parenting Young Athletes the Ripken Way in 2006 in response to Cal seeing too many young athletes who he felt were being pressured unnecessarily by their parents. They then wrote Coaching Youth Baseball the Ripken Way, co-written with Scott Lowe, and published in 2008. During the 2009 World Baseball Classic, Bill worked as a first base coach for the United States national team. The team advanced to the semifinals of the tournament. Ripken is presently the national spokesman for Blue Coast Savings, a managerial consulting group.
Bill Ripken Age
William Oliver Ripken (Bill Ripken) is 58 years old as of 2022 and was born on December 16, 1964, in Harve de Grace, Maryland, United States. He celebrates his birthday on the 16th of December every year and his zodiac sign is Sagittarius.
Bill Ripken Height
Ripken stands at an approximate height of 6 feet 1 inch (Approx. 1.85 meters) tall.
Bill Ripken Family
Ripken was born in Harve de Grace, Maryland to Cal Ripken Sr., and Violet ”Vi”Ripken. He was brought up traveling around the U.S. as his father was a player and coach in the Orioles’ organization. His mother was kidnapped at gunpoint and safely returned on July 24, 2012, and was gone for 12 hours prior to her disappearance was reported to authorities. She was then approached by a man with a handgun in a parking lot at the NBRS Bank in Aberdeen, Maryland on October 15, 2013. The man demanded her car, but she activated a key alarm and he fled. Lt. Frederick Bundick, spokesman for the Aberdeen Police stated that she was unharmed and the two incidents appeared unrelated. He has three siblings named Cal Ripken Jr., Fred Ripken, and Elly Ripken.
Bill Ripken Wife
Ripken is married to Candace Cauffman, whom he married on February 13, 1989. The couple is blessed with two daughters named Miranda and Anna and two sons named Reese and Jack and they all reside in Fallston, Maryland.
Bill Ripken’s Net Worth
Ripken has an estimated net worth of around $10 Million which he has earned through being a former baseball player.
Bill Ripken Salary
Ripken earns an annual salary of approximately $200,000.