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The Man Who Kidnapped Cal Ripken’s Mom Didn’t Know She Was Cal Ripken’s Mom
On Tuesday morning, Cal Ripken’s mother, Vi Ripken, was forced into her silver Lincoln Continental by a tall, thin white man with glasses and camouflage clothing. The man blindfolded her, and told the 74-year-old that he wasn’t going to hurt her. He just wanted money and her car.
He lit cigarettes for her. He stopped for food with her. At first, he wanted to use tape as a blindfold, but since Mrs. Ripken is claustrophobic, he instead used “some type of mask or blinders on her.” She could see out the sides, at least somewhat.
The tale of perhaps the most chivalrous kidnapping in American history comes courtesy of a Ripken neighbor named Gus Kowalewski. Kowalewski spoke with the Washington Post, relaying a few of the details of Mrs. Ripken’s scary ordeal. (The kidnapper stuck to his word: Mrs. Ripken was found, bound but unharmed, in the back seat of her car about 24 hours later, near her home northeast of Baltimore.)
All in all, it sounds like the man in camouflage had no clue that the elderly woman he had taken was indeed the mother of a Hall of Fame infielder who had played in 2,632 consecutive games. It’s still not clear what — if anything — he took. Aberdeen police, as well as the FBI and Maryland State Police, are currently conducting an investigation.
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