The Gettysburg Times from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on June 19, 2002 · Page 9
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The Gettysburg Times from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania · Page 9

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Wednesday, June 19, 2002
Page 9
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SPORTS TODAY; • South Penn Baseball, B3 • Youth Baseball, B3 • Times Sports Photo Booth, B3 TJETTYSBURG TIMES WEDNESDAY, JUNE 19,2002 Section B SPORTS DESK: SPORTS @GBURGTIMES.COM MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL Rip the owner Orioles' Ironman forges new role From wire services ABERDEEN, Md. — It's 90 minutes before game time, and Cal Ripken is signing autographs in front of the stands along the first-base line. It's a ritual that occurred countless times during Ripken's 20-year run in the big leagues. On this night, however, he isn't dressed in a Baltimore Orioles uniform. Rather, Ripken is wearing black pants, a black polo shirt and a windbreaker with the logo of the Class-A Aberdeen IrbnBirds. X)ne year removed from a stellar career that will land him in the Hall of Fame, Cal Ripken now has a new title: baseball Owner. : .Ripken's quest to bring a minor league team to his hometown reached fruition Tuesday night, when the IronBirds began their inaugural season by hosting the yVilliamsport Crosscutters in an $18 million stadium affectionately known in these parts as The House That Cal Built. .For Ripken, life after baseball is nothing more than merely entering a different phase of the game — in a capacity that creates pregame jitters of a different kind. * ^There's a nervousness that is similar lawhen I played," Ripken said. "I don't have the butterflies of facing a 95 mph fastball, but I have butterflies hoping that everything's perfect and everyone enjoys themselves. 1 "I think there's a certain anxiousness, a certain nervousness, a certain excitement ABERDEEN IRON BIRDS in both cases," he said. "In this case, my excitement is more curiosity, worrying more that things come off real well." An hour earlier — two minutes after the gates opened for the first time — a thundershower began pelting the infield tarpaulin at Ripken Stadium. It was not a good sign, but Ripken remained optimistic. "I want this to be perfect, and already the rain has come," he said, keeping dry in the visitor's dugout. "I'm really anxious to see the game get under way." Groundbreaking on the stadium began in October 2000, and four months later Ripken purchased the Utica Blue Sox of the New York-Penn League and brought them to Aberdeen. The IronBirds are an affiliate of the Orioles, the only team that Ripken played for as a big leaguer. Bringing a minor league team to Aberdeen was a goal Ripken set for himself well over a decade ago. "I've always looked for the opportunity to something significant for Aberdeen," he said. "Me standing here today in my hometown makes me feel very proud." The 6,000-seat stadium is part of a proposed complex that is slated to include six replica major league fields and a dormitory for a youth academy. The plan is for Ripken and his brother, Bill, to lend a hand in teaching baseball to kids. "This is only the first phase of the Aberdeen project," Ripken declared. The stadium is a gem. The opener drew a sellout, and Ripken said 90 percent of the seats have been sold for the 38-game home schedule. "I'll be here for as many of the 38 games as I can," Cal said. "I need to learn this business, and the only way I can do that is by watching." As the rain continued, Bill Ripken stared skyward and smiled. After waiting years for this night, he wasn't going to let the weather ruin the moment. "No, it's not going to rain. It's not going to rain on our parade," he said. It didn't. By 6:47 p.m., the tarp was pulled for the last time. Just over an hour later, Ripken's mother, Vi, threw out the ceremonial first pitch under blue skies. "I take great pride in how Mom feels about this place," Cal said. "Having this place here makes her happy." The only thing missing from the memorable night was Cal Ripken Sr., who died in 1999. "Dad was the one who planted the love of baseball in us," Cal said. "All of this came from him. I've thought about what he would think of this, and I think he would be extremely proud." After a lengthy pregame ceremony, the game got under way at 8:10 p.m. On the first pitch, Domingo Cuello hit a home run off Aberdeen's Ryan Keefer. Not that it mattered; nothing was going to ruin this night for the Ripken family and his hometown. ASSOCIATED PRESS PHOTOGRAPH CAL'S NEW STREAK — Cal Ripken, owner of the Aberdeen IronBirds, watches a flyover of A-10 Warthog military aircraft prior to the team's season-opening debut in the Single-A New York-Penn League at the new Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, Md. Tuesday. The IronBirds faced the Williamsport Crosscutters in the season opener. 2OO2 WORLD CUP America takes notice, U.S. ready for Germany BC-SOC--WCup-On Soccer-Rising America, Bjt,0924 BLUM ON SOCCER: America takes notice _ ;i •>.-•••.•. - ••.'•• AP Sports Writer SEOUL, 'South Korea (APf— thank ybui Mr, President. Usually, those words mean the end of a news conference. When Bruce Arena spoke them this week, they marked the beginning of a new era in American soccer. Jaded U.S. athletes are sometimes bored by telephone calls from the White House. Not the American soccer team. President Bush's call Monday thrilled the players, who love that they are being noticed along with Tiger, Shaq and the Rocket. Following the presidential pep talk, they went out and beat Mexico 2-0, America's first victory in the knockout stage of a World Cup, setting up a quarterfinal matchup Friday against Germany. "It was a wonderful gesture," Arena said Tuesday. "It certainly got the attention of our players. Maybe we need him to call again on Friday morning." For the Americans to be among the final eight nations is almost inconceivable. . After its stunning upset of England at the I9SO World Cup, the United States failed to qualify for the 1954 tournament, and the one in 1958, '62, '66 and so on. It wasn't until 1990 that the team returned to the planet's most-watched sporting event. Soccer in America? It was for foreigners in the parks. Or suburbanites who didn't want their kids playing NFL-style football. Even the great Pele and Franz Beckenbauer failed to make professional soccer a success in the United States, Even though FIFA decided on July 4, 1988, to stage the 1994 World Cup in America, soccer didn't really start its ascent until Nov. 19, 1989. On that autumn afternoon, in a packed stadium in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, Paul Caligiuri scored on a 30- yard shot in the 30th minute. The United States held on to beat Trinidad and Tobago 1-0 and return to the (See U.S. on Page B2) All five big confederations arrive at quarters From wire services ASSOCIATED PRESS PHOTOGRAPH JUBILATION — USA's Earnie Stewart, left, hugs John O'Brien, center, while Eddie Pope smiles as they celebrate their 2-0 victory over Mexico in their 2002 World Cup second round soccer game at Jeonju World Cup Stadium in Jeonju, South Korea, Monday. The U.S. team will face Germany, Friday in a quarter-final game. YOKOHAMA, Japan — For the first time, the World Cup will have a quarterfinal round worthy of the tournament's name. All five major soccer confederations will be represented in the final eight — including the United States from CONCACAF and co-host South Korea from Asia — following eight scintillating second-round matches. "There is no longer an established world in soccer," said U.S. coach Bruce Arena, whose team plays Germany on Friday. "It is truly a global game now. At the end of the day, the Brazils and Germanys and Englands and Italys will be there, but the gap is closing." He was right about three of those soccer giants. But Italy was dispatched by an overtime goal off the head of South Korean midfielder Ahn Jung-hwan in a 2-1 victory that sent millions of Koreans into the streets in celebration. "We made it to the last eight because of the big support from the fans," defender Kim Taeyoung said. "We will catch Spain in the quarterfinals (Saturday). Please trust us." The other upcoming games .have Brazil against England on Friday and Senegal against Turkey on Saturday. The Turks knocked out the other co-host, beating Japan 1-0 on Tuesday. Will the litany of upsets continue? The most recent last-place finishers, the Americans, are still alive, while the defending champion French are long gone. A newcomer and a team making its first appearance in five decades have survived. North America will be represented by the United States, whose 2-0 victory over Mexico made many American fans forget the 0-3 debacle of 1998 and the complete absence from the World Cup between 1950 and 1990. ASSOCIATED PRESS PHOTOGRAPH NOT TO BE — An Italian supporter cries at the end of the 2002 World Cup second round soccer game between Italy and South Korea, at the Daejeon World Cup stadium in Daejeon, South Korea, Tuesday. Italy lost 2-1 on a golden goal and it is out of the competition. "It's like it's not happening." said midfielder Landon Donovan, who scored the second goal against Mexico. "It's like a dream." The dream continued for South Korea — barely. Trailing 1-0 at Daejeon, Seol Ki-Hyeon scored just two minutes from the end of regulation. Then, three minutes before a penalty-kick (See CUP on Page B2) Stanford erases Notre Dame, South Carolina gets revenge From wire services ASSOCIATED PRESS PHOTOGRAPH DIVING STAB — Stanford first baseman Arik VanZandt leaps to catch a ball hit by Notre Dame's Kris Billmaier in the second inning of a College World Series game in Omaha, Neb., Tuesday. OMAHA, Neb. — Sam Fuld and Carlos Quentin homered and Stanford held off Notre Dame 5-3 Tuesday night and eliminated the Fighting Irish from the College World Series. The Cardinal, CWS runners-up the last two years, improved to 40-0 this season when holding the lead after eight innings. Stanford (47-17) will play Thursday against Texas in a rematch of the Longhorns' 8-7 win Monday that put the Cardinal in the elimination round. Texas needs just one win to reach Saturday's championship game of the double-elimination tournament. Steve Stanley was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a stolen base and scored a run for Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish (50-18) had 22 come-from-behind wins this season, but could not come up with one more after Stanford added an insurance run on Andy Topham's squeeze bunt in COLLEGE BASEBALL the ninth. Dan Rich got his sixth save when he struck out Joe Thaman to end the game. Rich relieved John Hudgins (10-1) who allowed two earned runs and six hits over 5 2-3 innings. Peter Ogilvie (7-5) recovered well after being down 2-0 on just three pitches, but didn't get the run support he needed. Ogilvie also went 5 2-3 innings, allowing four runs and seven hits. The Cardinal took a 2-0 lead on Fuld's second homer of the CWS and held on to it the rest of the way, although Notre Dame never fell behind by more than two runs. After Stanford went up 4-2 in the sixth on an RBI single by Jason Cooper, the Irish came right back with (See COLLEGE on Page B3)

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