Pictured: Cal Ripken Jr., Sharon Akers and Mark Teixeira Fun is a big part of the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, which uses baseball and softball programs to help teach disadvantaged kids across the United States. Fun was also a big part of the foundation's annual Aspire Gala. Hundreds of guests mingled with their sports heroes -- including former Baltimore Orioles and Baltimore Colts players -- during the gala's cocktail hour. "I get to see a lot of people I haven't seen in a long time. Then, we get to make fun of each other," said Stan White, former Baltimore Colt and WBAL sports commentator. "We talk about old times and how people remember us being better players than we were," said a smiling Ken Singleton, former Baltimore Oriole. "You know you're helping touch kids all across the country. There's nothing better than that," said Scott McGregor, former Baltimore Oriole. The highlight for some was getting a photo taken with Orioles Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. and Maryland native Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees first baseman. Teixeira was one of the evening's honorees, along with former Baltimore Raven O.J. Brigance, board member Jay Baker and his wife, Patty Baker. "You must be a first baseman," joked Ripken, as he greeted guest Denny Bowers, referring to Bowers' height. "Or a football player," added Teixeira. Bowers had, in fact, been both. Now Susquehanna University's head baseball coach, he and his wife, Amy Bowers, had driven down from Pennsylvania for the event. "It's really amazing," he said. The foundation's board chair, Frank Kelly, had a goal in mind for the fundraiser. "We're going to raise over 1.5 million dollars tonight," said Kelly, who helmed the gala with his wife, Janet Kelly, in previous years. "Tonight's fun because we're not chairing it," said Janet Kelly, with a laugh. -- Sloane Brown
Photo by Karen Jackson, Special to The Baltimore Sun
Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
- College Baseball
- Baltimore Orioles
- Mark Teixeira
- Cal Ripken Jr.
- Cal Ripken Sr.
- O.J. Brigance