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Holliday officially promoted, to wear No. 7 with Orioles

The Orioles have officially promoted top prospect Jackson Holliday to the majors ahead of Wednesday night’s game in Boston.

Roughly nine hours prior to the scheduled first pitch at Fenway Park, Baltimore selected the contract of the 20-year-old infielder and designated veteran infielder Tony Kemp for assignment. Holliday is expected to be the Orioles’ primary second baseman moving forward, forming an electric double-play combination with 2023 AL Rookie of the Year shortstop Gunnar Henderson.

Signed just two days before the open of the 2024 season, the 32-year-old Kemp made two starts at second base and had gone hitless in nine at-bats.

In addition to the excitement of baseball’s top prospect making his major league debut, Holliday will don No. 7, which hasn’t been worn by anyone for the Orioles since the late Cal Ripken Sr. in 1992. Hall of Famer and Orioles legend Cal Ripken Jr. — who recently became part of the club’s new ownership group — and brother Bill Ripken confirmed the family’s blessing for No. 7 to be worn by Holliday, who is the son of seven-time All-Star outfielder Matt Holliday. The number was never officially retired by the organization.

Speaking on MLB Network on Wednesday morning, Bill Ripken said the Holliday family had “very respectfully” inquired about Jackson wearing No. 7 for the Orioles.

“My brother did touch base with me actually this morning and said, ‘What do you think?’ said Bill Ripken on “MLB Central.” “I said, ‘You know what, if anybody’s going to do it, I think that family’s going to honor the fact that Senior was a part of that.’ It gives us another opportunity to throw Senior out there [for recognition], so I’m all on board with it.”

Bill Ripken was the last player to wear No. 7 for the Orioles after his father was fired as field manager after an 0-6 start to the 1988 season. Cal Ripken Sr. returned to the organization as third-base coach the following year and served in that capacity until being dismissed from that job and refusing a minor-league reassignment after the 1992 campaign, which ended a 36-year run with the Orioles that began as a minor-league player in 1957. Cal Ripken Sr. died from lung cancer at age 63 in 1999.

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