Westminster fan has chance at $10 million home run If picked from final five, Winson gets three swings for money at Rockies game

July 03, 1998|By Ryan Basen | Ryan Basen,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

When he answered the phone and heard an operator from Coors on the other line, Westminster native Ron Winson thought was an advertisement.

He remembered the time his wife mentioned she had entered him in a Coors Light contest -- "Do you think you can hit a baseball over the fence?" she had asked him -- but he thought nothing about it. Then the voice on the phone told him something he'll never forget.

"He said I'd won a contest and Coors would give me two tickets to the All-Star Game [in Denver] plus two tickets to a Colorado Rockies game next week," Winson said.

The real prize from this contest may not be realized until the Rockies game on July 10, however. Winson was one of five contest winners nationwide, but only one will get the chance to win $10 million. All Winson needs is a little luck and a lot of skill.

If his name is selected out of a hat at the game July 10, Winson will be given five pitches and three swings to hit a home run. If he can, he wins $10 millon. "I was amazed that I won. The trip [to Denver] is worth $3,800 alone," Winson said. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I was totally shocked."

In case he is called up to the plate, Winson has been practicing three nights each week at the batting cages. The sessions are especially helpful because Winson, 6 feet 1, 250 pounds, never played organized baseball.

"I always played pickup softball at picnics and stuff like that, but never baseball," he said.

Despite his lack of experience, Winson said he can hit one out in Denver if given the chance. The longest ball he has ever hit was between 375 and 400 feet, long enough to leave the launching pad that is Coors Field. "I've hit home runs in softball before, and I'm big. I'm pretty confident that I can hit one out," he said.

"I'd drink a lot of Coors Light," Winson said jokingly when asked what he'd do if he won the $10 million. Then he added: "I'd build my own building for my store [Framing Plus, in Eldersburg] and expand our business. But we'd continue to work."

Pub Date: 7/03/98

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