As Tom Hanks' character famously says in "A League of Their Own," there is no crying in baseball. But there is, apparently, tying in baseball.
At least there was Tuesday afternoon in the 32nd annual Brooks Robinson All-Star Game at Camden Yards. The North and South teams, each comprised of 15 of the state's top high school seniors, played to a 3-3 tie in the showcase game.
The game was rescheduled for Tuesday after being stopped in the third inning Sunday evening because of thunderstorms.
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Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards, 301 West Camden Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA
There were no losers Tuesday afternoon, but there were winners.
"You can't beat coming out here in your own home state's ballpark like this," North pitcher Bruce Zimmerman (Loyola) said. "This is one of the best experiences and I'll never forget it."
Zimmerman's sentiment was echoed by his fellow all-stars.
"It's a dream come true," South infielder Joe Zayatz (Oakland Mills) said. "Every little kid wants to play on a major league diamond."
Zayatz is a New York Yankees fan, but has been to Oriole Park many times and has always aspired to take the field. He felt overwhelmed by the situation when he first stepped to the on-deck circle, but the nerves quickly dissipated.
"It's just baseball," Zayatz said.
The 'wow' factor was temporary, but the adjustments these players, accustomed to smaller fields, had to make were real. Angles taken to balls were different because of the depth of the field and batters' eyes were greeted with more center-field signage than they were used to seeing.
Batters adjusted quickly to the major league setting.
The North team took a 1-0 lead in its first at-bat as Brady Policelli tripled and later scored on an error by the South shortstop. The North appeared set to start the game with a big inning with the bases loaded and just one out, but Ron Farley (Calvert Hall) grounded into an inning-ending double play.
The South countered with two runs in the bottom of the first, as a base hit up the middle by Carl Colbert scored a pair.
The North evened the game at 2 in the fourth when Farley atoned for the earlier double play by knocking a two-out offering down the right-field line for an RBI.
The North took a 3-2 lead the following inning when Matthew Tilley (Gilman) scored on a wild pitch.
The North would return the miscue favor a half-inning later, though, as a wild pitch by Seth Schubert allowed the tying run to cross home plate.
Tuesday's tie was the third such result in the history of the All-Star Game. It also served as an awkward conclusion to a 35-year career for South coach Ken Dunn (South River), who spent a game in a dugout for the final time Tuesday afternoon.
"They say [tying] is like kissing your sister, but that's OK — my sister's good looking," Dunn said.
While the result was unexpected, Dunn felt privileged to be asked to participate in the event.
"You got great talent here on both sides. It's a good experience no matter who you are," Dunn said. "The kids in this area are elite, so it's a nice feeling to be here."