When you think of baseball, one family’s name and legacy is sure to come to mind – Ripken. This special family helped shape the game over the years and they’re still continuing on with the journey with their well-known Ripken Way. Pigeon Forge is lucky and blessed enough to have a spot right off Teaster Lane where they’ve added numerous fields for their full experience, with all different kinds of tournaments being held there each year. You even get an amazing view of the Smokies from where these baseball fields are located. When you stay with us here at Bear Crossing, we’re actually conveniently located right across the street from the Cal Ripken Baseball spot! Nothing beats not having to pack up the car to get where you’re going. We offer beautiful two and three bedroom condos for the whole family to come back and relax in after a long day out on the field. We also offer FREE TICKETS to numerous shows and attractions in the area for you all to take advantage once your tournament and/or experience is over! Is this your first time hearing about the incredible Ripken Way? We’re here to help give you all the information we possibly can about it, so let’s take a look at what The Cal Ripken Experience is all about!

One of my favorite parts of the experience is learning about the Nine Innings, Nine Values that they’ve created which truly describes the Ripken Way. I think what makes them even more special is that they were passed down from Cal Ripken, Sr. to his sons, and it’s a remembrance of his legacy. According to their website, the nine values are: character, commitment, community, family, fun, integrity, passion, perseverance, and teamwork. Not only do these translate onto the field, but they also are an important part of everyday life even when off the field. I love that their vision is to “elevate every player’s potential on the field  and in life.” I also love that the Ripken Way also focuses a lot on just simply having fun. How can you enjoy the game or even life in general if you aren’t having a little fun? They focus on player development in ways that also help their players, families, and coaches in everyday life situations. If you’d like to learn a little more about the Ripken Way, check this out! You’re sure to love learning about what their experience is truly all about and how it all started.

When it comes to actually hitting the field, Cal Ripken Baseball has a lot of different kinds of tournaments to choose from. You can do a week long package that has a minimum of six guaranteed games with skill competitions and even a Ripken ring experience! You can do three and four game tournaments if you’re just looking to see what it’s all about in a few games. There are so many different tournament styles to choose from and that’s what makes this experience so special. It’s exclusive to 7u-12u age groups and they have so many different teams that join them each year. They do have tournament rules to follow so make sure to check them out here. It’s one event that you and the family will never forget especially if you’re all baseball fans.

Spring is about to come to town and in baseball, you know exactly what that means. It’s time for softball spring training! From March 12th – April 20th, Cal Ripken Baseball opens their fields for spring training. Here you will find flexible game schedules as well as practice ones. You get unlimited access to 15 of their incredible on-site batting cages and bullpens and they offer umpires and game balls. Will you be coming for quite a few practices or games? You don’t have to worry about gate or parking fees which is always nice! If you’re looking for an unforgettable spring training experience, you won’t want to miss out on this special event here in the next couple months. If you’re interested, don’t forget to register here!

I’m sure your next question is what are their facilities like? I’m glad you asked! The Ripken Experience have six youth fields complete with stadium lights. There’s batting cages and bullpens on each field as well. The special thing about these fields are they are replicas of Major League ballparks to really give each player the real experience. The fields go as follows: Calfee Park, Winston Salem Ballpark, Engel Stadium, Isotopes Stadium, and Camden Yards – their championship field! These fields really help the players feel like they’re moving up in the MLB with their player development and that’s almost every young player’s dream. If you’d like to take a peek at the set up, check out this map. One of the best parts about their location is that you actually get a beautiful view of the Smoky Mountains, so even if you aren’t actually playing, you’re still getting your own kind of experience! Head on up to their clubhouse to view the game from a unique angle and see our rolling hills as you do so.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this insider’s look at The Cal Ripken Experience! Sometimes it’s really hard to write about how special something truly is without you ever really experiencing it up close and personally. If your family is full of baseball lovers, you won’t want to miss out on this. We welcome so many tournament players and their families at our properties and they each seem like they’re having an incredible time! Not only are you learning lessons about baseball here, but you’re also learning about life on top of it. We can guarantee that you will never forget about The Cal Ripken Experience after checking it out for yourselves. We’ve also just learned that Cal Ripken, Jr. will be replacing Dolly Parton this year as the Grand Marshal for our annual springtime parade. He has also done a lot for our area, so it’ll be exciting to see someone new at the parade this year. So what are you waiting for? Book Your Vacation now and come and see what all the excitement is about from just across the street. If you’re new to the area, give us a call at 1.866.453.9696 and we’ll happily answer any questions you may have and help you find the perfect condo for your stay! Don’t forget to also check out our Lodging Discounts page to see what kind of specials we’re running throughout the year. Come and join our family here at Bear Crossing, would love to have you! We hope you’re all ready to really enjoy The Cal Ripken Experience when you get here!