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Vi Ripken, mother of Cal Jr. and kidnap victim, dies at 82

In 2012, police said Vi Ripken was kidnapped at gunpoint at her home in Aberdeen, Maryland, and driven around blindfolded by her abductor. She was found unharmed.
Credit: AP
FILE - In a Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012 file photo, Vi Ripken, left, mother of former Baltimore Orioles legend and member of the Major League Baseball hall of fame, Cal Ripken, Jr., arrives at a ceremony to unveil his statue before a baseball game against the New York Yankees, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)

Vi Ripken, matriarch of the famed Orioles family that includes Hall of Fame son Cal Ripken Jr. and once the victim of a bizarre kidnapping, has died. She was 82.

Family spokesman John Maroon said Sunday that she died on Friday, a day before her birthday, in Aberdeen, where a youth stadium carries the Ripken name.

Violet and Cal Ripken Sr. married in 1957, and he spent four decades in the Baltimore system as a player, minor league coach and manager. He managed the Orioles in 1987 and early 1988, when sons Cal Jr. and Billy played infield for him.

In 2012, police said she was kidnapped at gunpoint at her home in Aberdeen and driven around blindfolded by her abductor. She was found bound and unharmed about 24 hours later in her car near her home. The case was never solved.

Vi Ripken was involved for many years in local and charitable organizations in the Maryland area.

"We are deeply saddened to learn about the passing of Vi Ripken," the Baltimore Ravens said in a statement. "The Ripkens are engrained in the fabric of the greater Baltimore community, and Vi played a significant role in helping establish their family's strong legacy. We extend our heartfelt condolences to her children and grandchildren during this sorrowful time."

She is survived by sons Cal Jr., Billy and Fred and daughter Elly. Grandson Ryan Ripken, a minor leaguer in the Baltimore system, played Sunday in the Orioles' exhibition game against Pittsburgh.

Cal Sr. died in 1999.

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