For 850 guests, the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation's $1,000-a-ticket "Aspire Gala" was a chance to rub elbows with sports celebrities. A VIP line snaked through a back room of the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront mezzanine, as scores of folks waited to get their photo taken with Cal Ripken Jr. and honorees Dave Winfield, Major League Baseball Hall of Famer, and Joe Maddon, Chicago Cubs manager. But even for those not in that line, there were a couple dozen more famous athletes to mingle with during the cocktail hour, including Hall of Famers Andre Dawson, Fergie Jenkins and Goose Gossage.
"It's always nice to lend my name to help [a good cause] and get to meet a lot of great fans who enjoyed what I used to do," said Gossage.
Meanwhile, the evening's enjoyment was more about the end result for Jay Baker, who co-chaired the event with Mark Butler, foundation board chair, and R. Todd Ruppert.
"We're going to raise a lot of money for underprivileged kids," he said. "That's the real fun of it."
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