"It was," he said, "a horrible night."
It was an emotional family reunion the next morning.
"We were very excited. I think we all let our emotions show," he said.
The Ripken family holds deep ties to Maryland's baseball community. Vi Ripken has long been regarded as a fixture in her Maryland community — a woman committed to raising her children and fostering their athletic ambitions as her husband, Cal Ripken Sr., steeped himself in a decades-long career in the minor and major leagues. Cal Ripken Sr. was known for a tough-as-nails, steely approach to the game and for preaching the "Oriole Way," a system that valued fundamentals and professionalism. He managed both Cal and another son, Bill, for a time and died in 1999.
Although Ripken has made countless public appearances, including speaking at his Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2007, he acknowledged that Friday was different. He said he mostly wanted to ask for the public's help in finding the kidnapper and in assuring his family's supporters, many of whom know his mother as "just Vi," was doing OK.
"This is very uncomfortable, no doubt about it," Ripken said. "The set of circumstances that has me before you doesn't feel good. "
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