Reporting Ron Matz
ABERDEEN, Md. (WJZ)—The Aberdeen IronBirds open their season next month, and their fans will have some delicious gourmet food to enjoy at Ripken Stadium.
Ron Matz reports the Ripken brothers are now in the food business.
Cal and Billy Ripken are behind the grill. The Ripken Experience now includes gourmet food at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen.
“We have a company called Double Play Dining. We’re responsible for the experience all the way around of the minor league team and also the kids’ venues. We want to make sure to control the whole experience and food is a big part of that,” said Cal Ripken Jr., Orioles legend.
You can enjoy steamed crabs and other seafood from Conrad’s. There’s ribs and more from the Charred Rib.
“We’ve got the Charred Rib as a partner. Ribs that just fall off the bone, fried onion loaf and some bread pudding–that’s good clean living right there,” said Billy Ripken, former O’s second baseman.
The Ripken gourmet burger is from Roseda Farm and now being sold exclusively in 30 Giant food stores. Each box includes four 6-ounce burgers.
“We started serving Roseda Farm burgers next door at the World Series last year. It was received really well, so it was natural to take the next step to serve them in the stadium venue,” Cal Ripken Jr. said.
“I have a burger. I was the milk guy and represented Esskay hot dogs for all those years, so it certainly makes sense. We’re in the food business and we’re feeding families and you need a good staple burger,” Cal Ripken Jr. said.
Of course there are hot dogs, too. It’s all about the family experience and the 6,000 fans who will fill this stadium for every home game.
“I think minor league ballparks may be a better family place than the majors. We have 6,000 seats here. It’s much easier to let your kids run free because anywhere you’re sitting you can see them, and I think that’s an important thing,” Billy Ripken said.
So pass the shrimp salad and bread pudding, it’s time to party in Aberdeen.
“Conrad’s Crabs is providing the steamed crabs. It’s a unique experience down there. People might say I don’t even care if a game is going on because I’ve got some crabs,” Billy Ripken said.
There will also be a wing and burrito bar as part of the food experience at Ripken Stadium.
The Aberdeen IronBirds open their home season on June 20 against the Hudson Valley Renegades.