Ripken is new U.S. ambassador of baseball overseas
BALTIMORE -- Hall of Fame newcomer Cal Ripken Jr. was chosen by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to promote baseball around the world.
Rice on Monday will make Ripken a Special Sports Envoy to the Department of State, the public relations firm that represents Ripken, Maroon PR, said in a statement Thursday.
The former Baltimore Orioles star will be asked to help the game grow at the grass-roots level. Ripken will reach out to a worldwide audience of young people; his first trip will be to China this fall.
Ripken was inducted into the Hall of Fame on July 29. Since his retirement in 2001, he has worked to involve youngsters in baseball.
Rice last year asked figure skater Michelle Kwan to serve as a Public Diplomacy Envoy. Kwan's task is to try to improve the United States' image abroad by sharing her experiences as a skater.
Kwan made her first trip, to China, in January and spent a week in Russia, traveling to Moscow, Volgograd and Elista.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press