For many players in the 10th North/South Crown All-Star baseball game today, after the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox series finale at Memorial Stadium, the idea will be to have fun. Of course, gaining exposure and playing well in front of family and friends, college coaches and pro scouts would be the consummate way to end their high school careers.
"It's important in that it's my last high school game," said Northeast's Craig Everett, who is on the South team. "But we're just out there to have fun. It should be exciting playing in Memorial Stadium.
"Whatever happens, happens. I'll be just satisfied to get a hit and have a ball hit to me in the outfield, so I can catch it in front of all those people."
Everett seemingly can't go wrong. He was a slugger on an Eagles team that posted a 24-0 record and won the state Class 2A championship. He hit .444 with 30 RBI and four home runs, and the Houston Astros were impressed enough that they drafted him two weeks ago.
For many of the players, tomorrow will be the first and maybe last time they play at Memorial Stadium, so a good showing is important. Towson High's Brett Kintz, who'll play shortstop for the North, is one of several players in the game who contributed to Team Maryland's third-place finish in the Sun Belt Classic in Oklahoma earlier this month.
But the best scholarship offer he has had so far is from a junior college in Oklahoma, which welcomed several of the Team Maryland players. Kintz said he would like to do better than that.
"I want to play well and, hopefully, get some exposure, because right now I'm undecided about where to go," said Kintz. "Just playing in a place like Memorial Stadium alone is something to be proud of. You have the best players in the state competing, and that's something special."
North pitcher Jerry Fisher, from Southern High, played at Memorial Stadium three years ago in the championship game of the Anne Arundel Mickey Mantle League. He had a 9-2 record and 0.80 ERA this past season. The Milwaukee Brewers drafted him, but he said he is headed to Seminole Junior College in Oklahoma in the fall.
"I can get drafted again," said Fisher. "Then I can get a lot more money."
Tomorrow, he'll just get some thrills.
"I've played there before, and it's pretty nice," said Fisher. "The best of Maryland went to Oklahoma and competed against the best from other states, so now we get to play against each other. A lot of us became good friends on that trip, so it should be interesting playing against them."