Fantasy Week Is Dream Come True For Ex-aacc Aide


February 17, 1991|By Pat O'Malley

Since I had so many "Q's without A's" left over from our last query session, I thought I would unload them today, sports fans.

As you know, most of these questions come from your calls to the 24-Hour Sportsline, which is our own love connection without a 900-number.

Calls to my hot line to talk sports with me one-on-one are free. So, if you have any comments on today's big "Q's" or any "Q's and A's" of your own, please give me a call today or any time at 647-2499. I'll be waiting.

* Will Severna Park's 63-year-old infielder, Jack Kendall, the former assistant football coach at Anne Arundel Community College, be invited to the Baltimore Orioles' spring training camp with Mike Flanagan, Larry Sheets and Jim "Cakes" Palmer?

What's that, you say?

Well, Jack recently returned from an outstanding outing in Bradenton, Fla., at the Orioles' Fantasy Week, and the Boston native is optimistic about a comeback.

"The moment I put on that Orioles uniform down there in Florida, I thought I could play again," said Kendall, who received the trip from his wife and kids for Father's Day.

"For one brief instant, I returned to my youth, and I recommend it to everybody. Go if you can do it. You will love it."

Kendall didn't feel like a spring chicken simply because rocker Joan Jettwas in camp with him this Fantasy Week, but because he got to put onthat uniform once again and, as he said, "Was taken out of reality."

Kendall simply had a ball at what has become one of the greatest promotions ever for the Orioles. He got to play two six-inning games a day and was treated just like a pro.

"You had to be dressed and ready for the bus to the ballpark at a certain time, and if you weren't, you got left behind," he said. "The staff was marvelous, and whata thrill to get out there and play with people like Brooks Robinson."

Kendall also got a special thrill when he got to turn back the clock about 50 years to his childhood knothole gang days in Beantown. The Orioles sent a team over to the Texas Rangers' fantasy camp in Port Charlotte to play a contingent of Ranger dreamers, and Kendall gotto meet a couple boyhood idols in Lew Burdette, the former Boston and Milwaukee Braves right-hander, and ex-St. Louis Cardinal Gas House Gang outfielder Harry "The Hat" Walker.

"I actually had tears in my eyes when I got to shake Harry 'The Hat's' hand," said Kendall.

Walker and Burdette were Ranger fantasy camp coaches and provided Kendall with an unforgettable moment.

"It took me back 50 years to see Walker," he said. "When I was a kid growing up in Boston and watching the old Boston Braves, I got to see 'The Hat' when he came to town. He could sure hit.

"The whole camp was absolutely super and everybody should do it if they can," he said.

* Did you know that AnneArundel Community College baseball pitching coach Larry Shillenberg says that Pioneers second baseman Mike Kirkpatrick, who played at Northern Alabama last year and is from Pennsylvania, reminds him of Orioles second baseman Billy Ripken?

* Won't Kirkpatrick and Anne Arundel shortstop Andy Srebroski, the Anne Arundel County Sun Baseball Player of the Year from Northeast High, turn a lot of double plays thisspring for the Pioneers of coach Clayton Jacobson?

* Do you think, as I do, that the Anne Arundel Community College men's basketball team of coach Mark Amatucci, at 24-4, is headed for a national championship in Division II JuCo play in Michigan on the weekend of March 2?

* If Navy (6-18, 2-10 in the Colonial Athletic Association) relieves coach Pete Herrmann in this, the final year of his contract, needit look any further than in its own back yard in Arnold, where Amatucci coaches?

Wouldn't Amatucci, who once coached Loyola College ofBaltimore in NCAA Division I hoops, do a great job at the academy with his background as a coach and academic counselor/monitor at Anne Arundel?

* On the subject of academics, how many of you coaches outthere knew the requirement for an ACT score went to 18 in October oflast year to play Division I sports?

In recent columns concerningstudent-athletes, I've written about the qualifications to play Division I sports and have said that the required ACT score was 15. No one called to inform me that it was changed to 18. Normally, people will call the Sportsline to crack on me when I make a mistake.

Anyway, parents and student-athletes, it's 18 on the ACT and 700 or better on the SAT, along with a 2.0 grade-point-average in CORE subjects, toplay Division I sports.

* Do you agree with Brooklyn Park High graduate and Pasadena Chargers youth football coach John Olecski that "there should be no academic standards to play sports in the county and that the GPA should be up to the parents?"

Olecski says, "Some kids are not made out to attend college and, therefore, they should begiven the chance to play. Those that are made for college should have to achieve a 2.0."

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