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Although Mr. 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,” Mr. Ripken said. “The set of circumstances that has me before you doesn’t feel good.”