The Crown High School All-Star Baseball Team gathered in the Warehouse at Oriole Park at Camden Yards yesterday afternoon, perched above the field that Cal Ripken calls home.
On Sunday, after the Orioles and Chicago White Sox are done playing, and Ripken has put in another day at the office, the high schoolers will get their crack at rounding the bases and fielding balls at shortstop.
The 1996 Crown All-Stars, announced at a press conference yesterday, are scheduled to take the field at 5 p.m. Sunday. Numerous scouts and college recruiters will be watching the seniors, most of whom are still undecided about where they will continue their academic and baseball careers.
"This has been a great game," Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson, the all-star honorary chairman, told the players. "A lot of young athletes have gone to college just off this game alone. To get a chance to play in this ballpark is going to be a big thrill for all of you."
The all-stars are split into North and South teams. The North All-Star Team consists of several players from Mount St. Joseph and Gilman. Arundel, DeMatha and Bethesda Chevy Chase players comprise much of the South Team.
The selection process began last September when candidates were videotaped, and the tapes were sent to college coaches. Clinics were held in November and February, followed by a regional tryout. Representatives from the Maryland State Association of Baseball Coaches pick the team.
Also announced yesterday was Team Maryland, a statewide all-star team selected by Maryland coaches. This group of players, many of whom are playing in the Crown game, will participate in a tournament in Oklahoma this summer against all-star teams from Oklahoma, Ohio, Georgia, California, Florida and Texas. The players will board with families while in Oklahoma and go up against players already taken in the major-league draft.
Orioles general manager Pat Gillick and assistant general manager Kevin Malone urged the players to continue their education as they improve on the diamond.
"Take advantage of the [all-star games] to make a lot of friends," Malone said. "Use your opportunity to play at the collegiate level. Take advantage of what the game has to offer. Be appreciative of the game. Respect it."
Ryan Baker, Mount St. Joseph, P; Joseph Hart, Walkersville, P; Jason Kelly, South Hagerstown, P; Colin McGonigal, Mount St. Joseph, P; Jason Mersey, Gilman, C; Charles Walter, Lansdowne, C; Jay Homa, Gilman, IF; Jeff Felker, Mount St. Joseph, IF; Lee Lorshbaugh, South Hagerstown, IF; Kyle Skinner, Mount St. Joseph, IF; Russell Wrenn, Gilman, IF; Rob Roelke, Thomas Johnson, OF; Yani Rosenberg, Gilman, OF: Kristian Spriggs, Frederick, OF; Rodney Young, South Hagerstown, OF. Alternates: Chad Sommers, Bel Air, C; Michael Peters, Westminster, P; Thomas Bloom, Catonsville, P; Jason Brennan, Thomas Johnson, IF; Tim Hilyard, C. Milton Wright, IF; William Greenwell, Bel Air, OF; Mike Dubansky, McDonogh, OF. Coaches: Chet Janigan, McDonogh; Joe Binder, Calvert Hall; Daniel Duffy, South Carroll.
Chris Fiora, DeMatha, P; Ryan Fleetwood, Cambridge-South Dorchester, P; Derek Loosararian, Arundel, P; Richard Thompson, Damascus, P; Jon Herst, Richard Montgomery, C; Ryvy Rueda, Bethesda-Chevy Chase, C; Steve Brunner, Arundel, Greg Filson, DeMatha, IF; Tim Pritchard, Watkins Mills, IF; Donald Wright, Bethesda-Chevy Chase, IF; Andy Vermillion, Arundel, IF; Joe Barnes, Old Mill, OF; Patrick Cilento, Sherwood, OF; Desmond Dailey, Glen Burnie, OF; Larry Long, Howard, OF. Alternates: Bernie McQuarrie, Arundel, C; Paul Wirth, Southern-AA; John Sunderdick, Oakland Mills, P; Tony Coyne, Calvert, IF; Jackie Rexrode, Riverdale Baptist, IF; Chuck Manns, Old Mill, OF; Greg McDonald, Atholton, OF. Coaches: Bernie Walter, Arundel; Mark Stover, Broadneck; Terry Terrill, Riverdale Baptist.
Pitchers: Steve Walter, Gaithersburg; Mike Peters, Westminster;
John Sunderdick, Oakland Mills; Mike Trott, Franklin; Paul Wirth, Southern-AA; Ryan Green, Gaithersburg; Richard Thompson, Damascus; Chuck Conley, Hancock; Denny Bowers, Westminster Infielders: Tim Pritchard, Watkins Mill; Russell Wrenn, Gilman; Kyle Skinner, Mount St. Joe; Ryan Fleetwood, Cambridge; Jonathan Kaelin, Seneca Valley Outfielders: Tom McLaughlin, Parkside; Pat Cilento, Sherwood; Rodney Young, South Hagerstown; Mike Couser, Mount St. Joe Catchers: Eric True, Hancock; Jason Mersey, Gilman Coaches: Fred Krieger, Boonsboro; Ron Siers, Mardela; Roger Wrenn, Patterson; Paul Merrill, Walkersville; Terry Coleman, Glenelg