Reporting Gigi Barnett
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Baltimore’s President’s Cup baseball tournament returns to the city.
Gigi Barnett explains after the inaugural year was a huge success, more high school teams are signing on to play.
More than a dozen city high school baseball teams want the trophy on their mantle. It’s the President’s Cup– the prize for winning the city-wide baseball tournament that matches up private and public school players.
Thursday, the city unveiled plans to bring it back for a second year.
“We plan to make some noise,” one high school player said.
Last year, Council President Jack Young brought the tournament to Baltimore to unite public and private school players on the diamond. It worked.
This year, some big baseball names like former Orioles Hall of Fame catcher Chris Hoiles and Jackie Robinson’s daughter, Sharon Robinson, are teaming up to help.
“They have to really develop this strength of character and make some positive leaders in their community,” Sharon Robinson, Jackie Robinson’s daughter, said.
“They have no idea what’s in store for them. I think it’s going to help the competition to try to get to that game,” Orioles Hall of Famer Chris Hoiles said.
That’s because the championship game will be played at Oriole Park next month.
“It’s going to be the experience of a lifetime,” high school player Joe Hueden said. “I mean, it’s everybody’s dream to play there.”
This year’s tournament has a twist. The city wants to spruce up its fields before the games so it launched a fundraiser called “Growing the Game” and raised $83,000 until the Orioles added more money to the pot, matching it dollar for dollar.
“It’s not just the fields, it’s also the equipment,” said Louis Angelos, the son of Baltimore lawyer and Orioles’ owner Peter Angelos. “So you’ve also got to think about the equipment and how we can best provide equipment. You need a place to play, a nice field.”
So altogether, that’s about $166,000 to spruce up about five fields. The O’s say some of its groundskeepers will also teach the city’s rec and parks workers how to better maintain the city’s baseball fields.
Altogether 16 teams will play in the tournament. That’s twice as many as last year.