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Seattle pays tribute to Ripken Jr.

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SEATTLE — The fans who cheered Cal Ripken's home run in his final All-Star game this summer showed the retiring Baltimore Orioles third baseman their appreciation again.

Ripken was honored by a sellout crowd before the Orioles' 6-0 loss to Seattle at Safeco Field on Sunday. Mariners manager Lou Piniella presented Ripken with a white Seattle jersey with his No. 8 signed by the Mariners players.

Each Seattle player shook his hand, and the fans gave him a long standing ovation. A plaque in his honor was hung in the visitor's bullpen near where his July 10 home run landed.

He waved and tipped his hat to the fans. Ripken played designated hitter in the game and went 0-for-3. He was 0-for-10 in the series, but hit .296 with 32 home runs and 124 RBIs against the Mariners in his career.

"It's overwhelming," the 41-year-old Ripken said of his farewell tour before Sunday's ceremony. "I really didn't expect all this. There's a lot of heart and support in the stands. It's been great."

Huge letters CAL were written in the dirt behind second base.

"Cal, Cal, Cal!" fans screamed when he walked onto the field before the game.

He has no idea how many autographs he has signed since announcing his retirement June 19 — but says it's probably thousands.

In the third inning of the All-Star game in July, Ripken homered off Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Chan Ho Park as the American League went ahead 1-0. The AL went on to defeat the NL 4-1, and Ripken was the game's MVP.