altBaltimore golden boy Cal Ripken, Jr., is taking his baseball talents to Washington, and then to the Far East. The State Department announced on Tuesday that the MLB Hall of Famer is heading up a sports exchange program with Japanese ball players. 

Ripken is showing 16 youth baseball and softball players from the earthquake and tsunami-devastated areas of Japan, along with four coaches, the ins and outs of the sport in the United States.

The two-week exchange program kicked off with a meeting with Ripken and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The group will also head to Ripken’s baseball training grounds in Aberdeen, Md., make a stop at a Camden Yards clinic, and plan to catch an Orioles game.

In November, the record-setting former Oriole, who famously played in 2,632 consecutive games before retiring in 2001, will travel to Japan to meet with children affected by the natural disasters there. The November trip will be Ripken’s third as a State Department public diplomacy envoy.

Maybe the “Ironman” of baseball is going for a new record as the Ironman of sports diplomacy.