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The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation broke ground at what will soon be home plate of a youth baseball field at the site of the old Memorial Stadium. It’s the first of several parks planned to be built around the city of Baltimore.
Today is a day I’ll never forget, not because the ceremonial press conference itself was so exciting, but because I got an uncontrollable nosebleed in the presence of Maryland royalty.
Among the hundreds of important people that I was in very close proximity to were:
- Cal Ripken Jr., National Baseball Hall of Famer and Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation Founder
- Bill Ripken, 12-year Major League Baseball veteran and Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation Founder
- Senator Frank Kelly, Chairman, Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation
- Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Mayor of Baltimore
- Brooks Robinson, National Baseball Hall of Famer
- Art Donovan, Pro Football Hall of Famer
I also had my camera and tripod set up next to a slew of camera grips and reporters from every major media outlet in the Baltimore area.
Right before the Mayor was introduced, I looked down and saw that the keys on my Blackberry phone were doused with blood. Looking down was a bad choice, as red droplets decorated my bright yellow polo shirt and bright orange Baltimore Sun lanyard.
I tried stopping the blood with my hands, but this was no ordinary nosebleed. I frantically made a makeshift tissue out of the 8.5 X 11 paper blueprint of the field that I was given earlier.
I left my camera to avoid any further embarrassment. I wandered around aimlessly behind the audience for what seemed like an eternity, hands and face bloody. Luckily, my fellow reporter, Kirby Mills, had a stroke of genius and instructed me to go to the bathroom.
So there I stood in front of the mirror in a bathroom of the YMCA for twenty minutes waiting for my nose to stop bleeding. Naturally, it happened to be bathroom break time for an entire camp full of kids. Their reactions varied: laughter, concern, fear, to name a few.
All the while, the Mayor of Baltimore and one of the Maryland’s most beloved legends were addressing a crowd. I left it to fate that my camera would capture it all without any human assistance.
I cleaned myself up and joined the rest of the press for a close-up interview with Cal Ripken Jr.
You’d never know it from the video.
Get the story, at all costs.