All-star event coming to Ripken Stadium

August game to showcase national group of seniors


May 02, 2004|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

The Ripken brothers, Cal and Bill, are at it again promoting the game they love at the level where it all starts -- amateur baseball.

Already committed to numerous youth clinics in honor of the late Cal Ripken Sr. and the 12-and-under Cal Ripken World Series under the auspices of Babe Ruth Baseball, Ripken Baseball yesterday announced that it will promote and host the AFLAC All-American High School Baseball Classic.

At a news conference at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, Cal Ripken led off the festivities for the 2004 showcase, where many of the nation's rising seniors will play Aug. 6 at Ripken Stadium.

"I guess I got involved because I have a good stadium, and we're trying to do really good things at all levels of baseball," said Ripken after introducing the first five players selected, all from the East Coast, and presenting them with caps and team jerseys as part of the first stage of a national selection tour.

"How can you best utilize your stadium and help celebrate baseball? This event is certainly one of the creative things we have. We have minor league baseball here, amateur baseball, and the college games are appealing to me."

Justin Upton of Greatbridge High in Chesapeake, Va., was one of those named. Upton is considered by many to be the top shortstop in the 2005 class.

"It's just an honor to play baseball every day, but to play in Ripken Stadium with the best players in the nation is even more of an honor," said Upton.

Also on hand was Nick Adenhart, a right-handed pitcher from Williamsport High in Washington County who is a projected No. 1 pick for the amateur draft June 7. Adenhart pitched in last year's inaugural of the Baseball Classic and struck out five in three innings.

"It's an experience unlike any other," said Adenhart, who has played in the Baltimore area with the Maryland Orioles since he was 14.

No one from the Baltimore area has been selected, and the roster is expected to be finalized next month.

Fox Sports Net will broadcast the game nationally on Aug. 8. Sports America, the group behind the McDonald's All-America high school basketball game, held the inaugural baseball game last summer in Fort Myers, Fla.

All proceeds from the Baseball Classic will be donated to the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

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