The weather suddenly turned cooler in Tampa – highs were in the upper 50’s – but the Women’s Mini Fantasy Camp participants – all 91 of them – didn’t seem to mind. After adding an extra layer of warmth under the pinstripes they were good to go on the first of two days of instruction from Yankees’ Greats coaching staff and actual games.
The feature game – one of four games on the schedule at two different sites – was between the Mickey Rivers’ coached Pinstripes and Bucky Dent’s Clippers at George M. Steinbrenner Field – the spring training home of the Yankees.
The Pinstripes got off to a fast start with two runs in the first inning and went on to a 5-2 win in a well played game that went the full nine-innings. The Pinstripes finished with 14 hits and were led by Judy Kovach who’s from Matawan, New Jersey. Judy had three hits and lined out to shortstop in her final plate appearance. Kovach also started the game-ending double play to snuff out a potential rally by the Clippers.
Lauren Kohl of the Clippers had three of her team’s 11 hits in the loss.
The rosters of both teams provided lots of variety in terms of hometowns. Kohl, who comes from Manahawkin, New Jersey, is one of five New Jersey players on her team. Four hail from Florida, and one each from New York and Puerto Rico.
The victorious Pinstripes featured six New Yorkers, two each from New jersey and Connecticut and one player from Florida. That was Kelly Ryan who didn’t have to travel far from home since she’s from Tampa.
The first day on the field included not only games, but the all important memory making team photos and individual head shots that will be placed on the Steinbrenner Field video screen for Saturday’s final day of competition.
The evening ended with a cocktail hour and dinner in the new Steinbrenner Field banquet hall. All eight Yankees Greats participated in an hour long Q & A that had the entire room in tears (tears of laughter).
The sun will rise early for the ladies tomorrow. Two games and the closing ceremony is planned. Helen Hunter, wife of “Catfish” Hunter, and Diane Munson, wife of Thurman Munson, will be special guests of the camp tomorrow and will assist with our award presentations.