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Baltimore Sun

Softball: A swing and a myth

The Ben Grubbs Celebrity Softball Game, which took place earlier today at Joe Cannon Stadium, was great fun, but it was also a humbling experience for those of us who are not high-profile, twentysomething professional athletes.

Maybe this is a case of "The older I get, the better I was," but I can't ever remember going hitless in a slow-pitch softball game. Maybe I'm just hanging around the Orioles too much, but my offensive highlight was a long fly ball that might have been an extra-base hit if I hadn't showed off my steroid-pumped power swing during batting practice and allowed the opposition to position the outfield accordingly. I guess that's why John Harbaugh doesn't like anybody texting during OTAs.

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There wasn't all that much opposition. I played on Fabian Washington's team, which was packed with talent. Joe Flacco hit the ball very well and Juan Dixon should have been named MVP for a terrific offensive and defensive performance. We delivered a brutal 13-1 beating to the hapless squad that featured WBAL's Clarence Mitchell IV and 98 Rock's Mickey Cucchiella along with Ray Rice and an assortment of Ravens players with suspect hand-eye coordination.

Really, all you have to do is look at this publicity photo of Mickey and it pretty much tells the whole story.

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We had a perfect game going when a thunderstorm forced the umpiring crew to interrupt the game temporarily. Sound familiar? Of course, that threw off our rhythm and we allowed a hit right after we returned to the field. I went out and shook hands with all of the umpires afterward, and was a little surprised when none of them broke into tears.

It was really a great event that drew close to a full house and raised some good money for the Ben Grubbs Foundation. And the best thing about it was that nobody -- especially me -- ended up with more than a bruised ego.


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