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Ripken scheduled to appear at Hitters Hall of Fame

By KEITH NIEBUHR and BRANT JAMES
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 22, 2002

HERNANDO -- Baseball's iron man is set to make an appearance in Citrus County.

Cal Ripken Jr., who retired last year after playing 21 seasons with the Baltimore Orioles and holds the record for consecutive games played, told organizers he plans to attend the ninth annual Ted Williams Museum and Hitters Hall of Fame induction ceremony Feb. 17.

"This is big stuff," museum executive director John Kriston said.

Ripken is best known for playing in 2,632 consecutive games, which broke the record of 2,130 held by Lou Gehrig. Ripken finished with 3,184 hits and 431 home runs, and twice earned American League MVP honors.

Dwight Evans, Jason Giambi, Derek Jeter, Al Kaline, Don Mattingly, Gaylord Perry, Albert Pujols, Enos Slaughter, Alfonso Soriano and Virgil Trucks also are being honored and each plans to attend. Additionally, the late Roger Maris will be honored with his widow, Pat, accepting his award.

Mets get Burnitz, D'Amico

NEW YORK -- The Mets pulled off a three-team, 11-player trade Monday, acquiring Jeromy Burnitz from Milwaukee and sending Glendon Rusch to the Brewers and Todd Zeile to Colorado.

The Mets completed an offseason overhaul of their offense, getting the slugging outfielder they sought. Burnitz will fit into a lineup with newcomers Roberto Alomar, Mo Vaughn and Roger Cedeno.

New York also got pitcher Jeff D'Amico, a Northeast High graduate, infielder Lou Collier, outfielder Mark Sweeney and cash from Milwaukee. The Mets got minor leaguers Ross Gload, a former South Florida player, and Craig House from Colorado.

The Brewers, who dealt Burnitz back to his original team, added a left-handed starter in Rusch. They also got outfielder Alex Ochoa from Colorado and infielder Lenny Harris from New York.

The Rockies filled their third base hole with Zeile, who came with outfielder Benny Agbayani and cash from the Mets.

General managers Dan O'Dowd of Colorado and Dean Taylor of Milwaukee have a history of making big deals. They took part in a four-team, nine-player swap on Dec. 13, 1999. In that deal, the Rockies got Jeff Cirillo and Rolando Arrojo, Tampa Bay got Vinny Castilla, Milwaukee acquired Henry Blanco and Oakland got a minor leaguer.

Burnitz, who played two seasons with the Mets, hit .251 with 34 homers and 100 RBIs last season. D'Amico was 2-4 with a 6.08 ERA in 10 starts for Milwaukee last season. He missed four months because of an arm injury and had surgery July 2 to decompress a nerve in his right arm.

Rusch went 8-12 with a 4.63 ERA last season. Ochoa hit .276 with eight homers and 52 RBIs for Colorado. Zeile hit .266 with 10 homers and 62 RBIs. Agbayani hit .277 with six homers and 27 RBIs.

Gload, an infielder-outfielder who played at USF from 1995-97, hit .297 with 15 homers and 93 RBIs for Triple-A Iowa last season.

PADRES: Relief pitcher Rob Ramsay is scheduled to have surgery Wednesday to remove a brain tumor, which was detected during an MRI exam this month. Ramsay started experiencing severe headaches in late November.

-- Times wires contributed to this report.

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