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Iron Man

Cal Ripken Jr. goes to bat with a business to promote the joy of baseball.

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This story appears in the October 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Imagine never missing a day of work in more than 15 years--pushing the ball forward through sweltering weather, a strike and even a death threat. Cal Ripken Jr. did just that, playing in 2,632 consecutive Major League Baseball games from 1982 to 1998 and shattering Lou Gehrig's 56-year-old record. Throughout his 21-year career, Ripken stepped up to the plate more than 11,000 times and had over 3,000 hits.

After setting down his bat in 2001, Ripken turned his perseverance and love of baseball into a business. He's president and CEO of Ripken Baseball, a Baltimore-based sales and marketing business with five divisions: Ripken Management & Design, Ripken Youth Camps and Clinics, the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, the Aberdeen IronBirds, and IronClad Authentics. These subsidiaries offer everything from baseball programs for underprivileged children to sports collectibles.

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