Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League
|No. of teams||12|
|Most recent champion(s)||Baltimore Redbirds|
|Official website||CRCBL Official Web Site|
The Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League (CRCBL) is a collegiate summer baseball league located in the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland metropolitan areas. All players are from NCAA-sanctioned colleges and universities and have at least one year of NCAA eligibility remaining. The CRCBL is a member of the National Alliance of College Summer Baseball (NACSB).
The CRCBL was founded in 2005. The league was named in honor of Cal Ripken, Sr. in recognition of his lifelong dedication "to helping young baseball players develop and reach their potential." Although the league is named in his honor, it is not associated with the Cal Ripken, Sr. foundation. In 2009 the league removed the "Sr." in the name to accommodate both Cal Ripken, Sr. and Cal Ripken, Jr..
The league's founding teams were the Bethesda Big Train, College Park Bombers, Maryland Redbirds, Rockville Express, Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts, and Youse's Maryland Orioles. The Herndon Braves joined in 2007 and the Alexandria Aces joined in 2008, expanding the league into Northern Virginia. In 2009, the Southern Maryland Nationals, formerly the "Southern Maryland Cardinals", joined the league for the 2010 season when it was announced that the College Park Bombers would not be competing in 2010 due to financial struggles. Another name change occurred as the Maryland Redbirds changed their name to the "Baltimore Redbirds." In 2011, the Vienna River Dogs became the ninth team in the league and the third in Northern Virginia. The league expanded into Washington, D.C. when the D.C. Grays joined for the 2012 season. The league has announced that two new teams will be playing in 2013, the Baltimore Presstman Cardinals and the Gaithersburg Giants.
On July 15, 2009, the CRCBL took on the Valley Baseball League, another collegiate wooden bat league based in Virginia, in the Mid-Atlantic Classic in Waldorf, Maryland. Each side gathered a roster of All-Stars for the match. In the game, the Ripken League defeated the Valley League 2-1 (see game summary). On July 11, 2011 the two leagues held the second Mid-Atlantic Classic (the scheduled 2010 re-match was rained out) at Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The Ripken League won again, this time by a score of 6-3 (see game summary and box score).
In May 2009, Brett Cecil, who pitched for the Thunderbolts in 2005, was called up by the Toronto Blue Jays. He was returned to the Class AAA Las Vegas 51s later in the month. However, he was recalled by the Blue Jays in mid June 2009 and finished the season in the Jays starting rotation, compiling a 7-4 record. In 2013 he became the first Ripken League alum to be selected to an MLB All-Star team, representing the American League.
The 2008 MLB Draft saw 40 former or current players chosen. Some players drafted included former Big Train player Carlos Gutierrez, at 27th overall by the Minnesota Twins. Three other players got drafted in the first three rounds: former Big Train player Evan Frederickson, at 35th overall by the Milwaukee Brewers, and two former players from the Youse's Orioles, Derrik Gibson in the 2nd round by the Boston Red Sox, and L. J. Hoes in the 3rd round by the Baltimore Orioles.
|Season||League Champion||Regular Season Champion|
|2005||Bethesda Big Train, Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts (co-champions)]||Bethesda Big Train|
|2006||Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts||Bethesda Big Train|
|2007||Rockville Express||Rockville Express, Youse's Maryland Orioles (Tie)|
|2008||Youse's Maryland Orioles||Youse's Maryland Orioles|
|2009||Bethesda Big Train||Bethesda Big Train|
|2010||Bethesda Big Train||Youse's Orioles|
|2011||Bethesda Big Train||Bethesda Big Train|
|2012||Baltimore Redbirds||Rockville Express|
|2013||Baltimore Redbirds||Bethesda Big Train|
- Brett Cecil, 2005 Thunderbolts
- Carlos Gutierrez, 2005 Big Train
- Joe Smith, 2005 Express
- Zach Clark, 2001 Thunderbolts
- Jonathan Papelbon, 2000 Thunderbolts
- "CRSCBL Mission Statement". Retrieved 2008-03-27.
- "CRSCBL 2005 Annual Report". Retrieved 2008-03-27.
- "College Park college baseball team ceases operations". Retrieved 2010-06-10.
- "Cal Ripken League welcomes new franchise for 2010". Retrieved 2010-06-10.
- "CRSCBL Alumni". Retrieved 2008-03-27.
- "2010 Draft Results". Retrieved 2010-06-10.
- "Alexandria Aces Official Web Site". Retrieved 2008-03-25.
- "Rockville Express Official Web Site". Retrieved 2008-03-25.
- "Bethesda Big Train Official Web Site". Retrieved 2008-03-25.
- "DC Grays Official Web Site". Retrieved 2012-07-06.
- "Gaithersburg Giants Official Web Site". Retrieved 2013-02-02.
- "Herndon Braves Official Web Site". Retrieved 2008-03-25.
- "Thunderbolts Official Web Site". Retrieved 2008-03-25.
- "2007 New York Penn League Allstar Roster". Retrieved 2008-03-26.
- "New York Mets Roster". Retrieved 2008-03-25.
- "MLB Stats for Joe Smith". Retrieved 2008-03-26.
- Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League official website
- National Alliance of College Summer Baseball official website
- Alexandria Aces
- Baltimore Redbirds
- Bethesda Big Train
- D.C. Grays
- / Gaithersburg Giants
- Herndon Braves
- Presstman Cardinals
- Rockville Express
- Southern Maryland Nationals
- Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts
- / Vienna River Dogs
- Youse's Maryland Orioles