During the final year in Knights Stadium history, the Knights Media Relations department has asked fans to submit the best moment in the stadium’s 24-year history. Through the team’s official website and social media outlets, the Knights received many great moments. On Friday, August 16, the Knights released Moment #10 in Knights Stadium history, presented by Strayer University. The final nine moments are being released during the final nine games in Knights Stadium history, beginning with the game on Saturday, August 17.
Cal Ripken was a star in Charlotte well before he was a star in Baltimore. On April 3, 2003, nearly 24 years after he first appeared in a Charlotte O’s uniform, Ripken returned to the area for a special Opening Day appearance at Knights Stadium.
This is what Cal had to say before his Opening Day appearance:
“I have some great memories of Charlotte from the 1980 season. On the field it was the season that really made me believe that I could play in the big leagues. I think I hit 25 home runs and made the All-Star Team. Off the field, I remember the fans being really passionate about baseball and caring a lot about the team. It felt special to play in Charlotte. This is a great honor for me and now that I am a minor league owner I look forward to seeing the operation in Charlotte and maybe stealing a few ideas.”
A member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Ripken helped the Knights open Knights Stadium for year #14 in the stadium’s history. The event was a huge success and over 8,200 fans came out to watch Ripken, as well as the Knights beat the Richmond Braves 7-6. Jon Adkins was the winning pitcher for the Knights.
Career Accomplishments: Ripken Jr. appeared in 17 games for the Charlotte O’s in 1979. A year later, Ripken Jr. hit .276 with 25 home runs and 78 RBIs in 144 games for the O’s. He spent just one more year in the Minors (1981 in Rochester) before he went on to his Hall of Fame Major League career. Over the course of his 21-year career, Ripken Jr. set the record for most consecutive games played and he was a 19-time All-Star. Ripken was also a two-time American League MVP. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007.
The #8 Moment in Knights Stadium history, presented by Strayer University, is the return of #8 to the Charlotte area.