For Robinson, President's Cup brings memories
Mount Saint Joseph defeats Gilman in annual tournament
BALTIMORE -- For Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, Saturday's President's Cup represented more than just a championship game between two of Baltimore's best baseball teams.
It was a reminder of why he loved the game so much as a kid.
"My biggest memory at the high school level was playing in something like this in San Francisco at a Triple-A park," Robinson, who threw out the first pitch, said. "It was exciting. We all wanted to be there."
Mount Saint Joseph shared similar sentiments following the Gaels' 12-11 win over the Gilman Greyhounds at Camden Yards to take the tournament title. The contest was the culmination of an eight-team tournament between the top local private and public teams.
After a back-and-forth contest that featured a multitude of hits from both sides, the Gaels were last to strike. In the sixth inning, with the score tied at 9 and runners on first and second, Peter Soloman hit an RBI double to left field for the go-ahead run.
Jeffrey Evans later scored on a wild pitch, and Stephen Hostutler -- named the tournament's Most Valuable Player -- drove in Soloman with a single to center field for a three-run advantage.
Gilman scored twice in the sixth inning, but Soloman struck out two of the game's final three batters to secure the win.
Upon the final out, the purple-clad Gaels immediately jumped up and hugged one another before Robinson came on to the field to present the trophy.
"We knew we needed to win this game," Soloman said. "Coach trusted me to go out there and pitch. I got a little nervous, but I got good help and calls from my catcher and came out with a win."
But the end result was not the only part Mount Saint Joseph enjoyed. The players changed in a Major League locker room, competed on the same freshly cut grass as the hometown Orioles and met one of the sport's legends.
It's a feeling, Hostutler will never forget.
"Getting up to bat, looking at the scoreboard and seeing yourself for the first time. ... It was incredible," Hostutler said. "Not many people get to play there, and we did -- twice, actually. It was absolutely amazing both times."
Robinson's biggest takeaway is the effect the President's Cup has on both the community and on the sport. Playing on a professional diamond in a game of this magnitude should help generate more interest for baseball among the younger generation than ever.
"It gives them a chance to see and hear about it and say, 'I can do that. I'd like to be involved in that,'" Robinson said. "That's the key, to try to get more kids involved in these games. This is a great game, and we have to make them excited about playing.
"I think this is another step in that direction."
Greg Rosenstein is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.