Play Ball! In Pigeon Forge, Tennessee those words were screamed happily in 2016 when The Ripken Experience opened its 22.5 Million Dollar little league ballpark here. What a dream it was, and continues to this day, for kids to step foot on the experience that Cal built.
Hall-of-famer and former Baltimore Oriole Cal Ripken along with his brother Billy have been building The Ripken Experience for a while now in other locations. The vision in Pigeon Forge at first glance stuns you with the Smoky Mountains as the backdrop, yet it really is just a little morsel of what the kids get.
It starts with the enormity of the complex. Six beautiful turf fields line the outside of the acreage and there is plenty of green space in the center of it all. You will enjoy walking paths with trees for shade, along with press boxes at all 6 fields. The kids will enjoy practice facilities like no other. However, the best is yet to come….
5 of the fields are replicas of some of the Ripken's favorite minor league ballparks. Each young player gets a true experience of what is like to play in the big leagues! In tournament play, those 5 fieldsreplicate Isotopes Park (Albuquerque, NM), Fluor Field (Greenville, SC), Winston Salem Ballpark (Winston Salem, NC), Calfee Park (Pulaski, VA) and Engel Stadium (Chattanooga, TN). What a treat for our youth. What about the final field, you ask? All tournament Championships are held at the replica field of none other then: Yup, you guessed it, The House That Cal Built! Camden Yards.
Truly the Ripken Experience adds a beautiful natural wave of joy to the baseball lover's Pigeon Forge experience. The mountain backdrop doesn’t hurt and Press Boxes at every field call every game. "Up to the plate, batting 3rd and playing 3rd base, number 8… little Cal Ripken". It just makes you want to be a kid again!
See you soon at the Ripken Experience. A nice addition to Pigeon Forge.