Major League Baseball's season has ended, but the organization's Pitch, Hit & Run Contest will go on, much to the delight of five Baltimore-area youngsters who earned themselves and a companion an all-expenses paid trip to the nationals in Arlington, Texas.
"With the players on strike, I was holding my breath hoping that they weren't going to pull the rug out on the kids and thankfully, they didn't," said Victor Ostrowski, whose son, Victor Jr., will represent Baltimore in the 10-year-old age group. "We're all very excited."
Ostrowski, a fifth-grader at Fort Smallwood Elementary School in Pasadena, will fly to Arlington next Friday with his family and the other four age-group winners: Joey Frykman, 9; Nick Foster, 11; John Griffith, 12; and Tim Byer, 13.
The finals, originally scheduled to take place today at The Ballpark in Arlington, were postponed until next Saturday at the Dr. Pepper Young Complex -- adjacent to The Ballpark -- to accommodate the schedules of several of the finalists.
The finalists -- from all over the country -- will arrive in Dallas on Friday for a welcoming party and will compete in the five-station, age-based competition Saturday to determine the national champions. Each of the five national champions -- one in each age group -- will receive two tickets to the 1995 All-Star Game, plus round-trip airfare and hotel accommodations.
While in Arlington, all Pitch, Hit & Run contestants will be treated to a tour of The Ballpark and a trip to the Six Flags Over Texas amusement park.
Frykman, who like the other finalists from Baltimore advanced through his performance at a local qualifier at Arundel High School and an area competition at Johns Hopkins, said he won't be too disappointed if he falls short of being a national champion.
"I just want to do my best," said Frykman, a fourth-grader at Four Season Elementary School in Gambrills. "I think it will be a lot of fun."