IronPigs pitcher Camp and wife met thanks to a $2 savings

IronPigs pitcher Shawn Camp, in his 18th professional season, recalls meeting his wife thanks to one bar's cheaper cover charge.

Shawn Camp's return to his hometown of Fairfax, Va. on Oct. 30, 2004, included a trip with a friend to Brion's Grille.

Heidi Gribble and her friend had the same idea of going out after a lab class at George Mason University.

Gribble and her friend first went to another bar, but it had a $7 cover charge.

The two college seniors then went to Brion's, whose cover charge was $2 cheaper.

The cover charges were because the bars were hosting Halloween parties.

At Brion's, Gribble was approached by Camp.

"Stick around." he said. "We're going to win the costume contest."

The irony was, they weren't wearing any.

"There were 300 people [at Brion's} and we were the only four people without costumes," Camp said.

As it turned out, that $2 changed the lives of Camp and Gribble.

Less than a year later, they married.

Their love has endured two ectopic pregnancies, including one which nearly took Heidi's life. They have two healthy children — son Garrett, 6; and daughter Isabella, 4.

Shawn, a professional baseball player, has suited up for four Major League Baseball teams and six minor-league clubs since their union in 2005. He is in his 18th year of getting paid to pitch. This spring, he is with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Triple-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies.

The 38-year-old said he has no intention of retiring. His wife has no thought of asking him to, instead providing inspiration and support.

"I called my sister Sonya four months after I met [Heidi]," Shawn said, "and told her I met my wife."

"It was four days," Heidi corrected.

Shawn was born and raised in Fairfax. He attended George Mason before being selected by the San Diego Padres in the 16th round of the 1997 draft.

Since being assigned to the Idaho Falls Braves of the short-season Class A Pioneer League, he has played in 13 minor-league towns and four major-league cities.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound pitcher has had many influences along the way, the first coming in 1999, when he was playing for the Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) Quakes, the Padres' advanced Class A affiliate.

It was then when Shawn met Sharon Throop, one of his host moms. Throop provided him with food, shelter and transportation.





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Baltimore Sun newspaper on Dec. 29, 2013.
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