Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Taking A Rip At Ripken
We all have a professional athlete that’s our favorite, one that’s just on a different level from all the rest. For me, it’s Cal Ripken, hands down. So when I was surfing the web a few years ago and stumbled across Ripken Baseball’s fantasy camp, I knew I had to go.
The highlight of the camp was the all-star game. The All-Star game featured starting pitchers Bill and Cal Ripken. I had one goal when I flew north from Florida to Aberdeen, MD. I wanted to play catch with my baseball hero. Just a simple game of catch. So when the all-star game arrived, I had a choice. Catch(my natural position) Cal, or catch Bill and bat against Cal. Bill made up my mind for me when he told me that I was going to be catching for him.
So that's how it came to be that I dug in to the box to bat against Cal Ripken. He wasn't throwing batting practice puss. No, Cal was mixing it up. Our count ran to 3-2 before I laced my frozen rope down the 3rd base line. Fastballs and curveballs up and down, in and out. And then...boom. Being the competitor that Cal is, my second time up he threw me change up that almost made me throw my back out. The double comes around the 15 sec mark, and check out the stache on my teammate.
And I came back the following year to have that catch with Cal. I guess all he needed was a good battery mate to fix his pitching problems. He pitched a two hit shutout.
Round trip airfare from Tampa to Baltimore...$250
Gambling losses on Ripken Atlantic City trip...$500
2 trips to Ripken fantasy camp...A whole bunch $$$$
playing catch and hitting a double off Cal...PRICELESS!
Cheers and Hail