Monday, May 07, 2007

Tim Salmon A Big Hit

Former Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim baseball player now retired Tim Salmon appeared at Boomers in Irvine Saturday March 10 for a batting cage dedication and accepted a check for $10,000 on behalf of Family Solutions.

The distinguished mayor of Irvine Beth Krom presented Salmon with a certificate of recognition for his efforts on and off the field. “It is wonderful that Boomers, Salmon and Family Solutions can come together in order to dedicate his batting cage in order to bring attention to very significant challenges in lives of children of Orange County.” Boomer’s maintenance team designed a replica of home base of which Salmon imprinted his hand print and signed it. The home plate concrete slab will remain as permanent fixture at the Tim Salmon batting cage.

In an interview, Salmon spoke about his retirement, his future and delivered a message to kids today:

Annie Rivera: What is it like being Tim Salmon?

Tim Salmon: I’m a normal guy, let me tell you. With four kids, it’s very busy, carpooling, and I’m coaching little league now. Quite honestly, when I go back home to Arizona, that’s where we’re raising our family I’m a normal guy. Most people there may look at me, give me a second look but nobody really knows who I am, Only when I come out here that I kind of get a little bit of that celebrity second look. I’m just a normal guy.

AR: What’s next for you – life after the Angels?

TS: Well, it feels like I’m retired, you know the way that my body feels. I’ve turned the page. It’s time to move on. My new priorities are my family and their needs and my kids have been waiting for a long time for me to be one of their coaches. My wife is happy to share the carpool duties with me. As much as I love the game and love playing it, it is a huge demand on your life mentally, physically, your time away from your family. There are so many great things about the game but there are so many things at the age of 38 I’m so glad to not have to do anymore. I am ready to turn the page. Of course I will have my moments from time to time to think about it, but I’ll have that recurring dream every few weeks or so that I am still playing.

AR: What does a day like today mean to you (batting cage dedication)?.

TS: [I feel] a little embarrassed. They [Boomers] didn’t have to do that. To me it was more about the opportunities they were going to provide my charities. Family Sol is a foster care agency where there are a lot of kids out there – to give them an opportunities to come to a place like this and be like a normal kids. That is what we are taking about – normalcy. Normal kids do not realize what they have. It is only when you see the foster kids that you see what they’re lacking and you can truly appreciate an opportunity to come to a place like this and to be treated like every other normal kid and have those opportunities. This is the goal behind everything here. The fact that they are putting my name on the [batting] cage that is super. If it brings exposure to Irvine Boomers, that is great, I’m behind that and it brings exposure to Family Solutions.

AR: What inspiration can you give youth who play in Little League, PONY, travel ball, etc. What message would you like to send to kids today?

TS: I come from a different era where we did not have all of those things. My thing is this: You have to make sure you’re having fun. It has to be your passion. It cannot be your parent’s passion or your coach’s passion. If you are not having fun doing it, there are other sports to play. I played everything. I learned something from everything that made me the person I am today, it made me the ball player I am today. I caution every parent out there [to] make sure it is the kids’ passion that is really driving them. When it becomes work, I think we have gone a little too far. I never thought baseball was a job until I started getting paid to play it. That is the key. Whatever they are doing they have to want to do it. They have to have the passion to do it. If it is getting in the way of their school work or family vacations or participating in other sports, I would take a second look at it. There are so many other important things to life in the youth development than just being locked into playing one sport or having put the demands on your family and your kids.

Around the Horn - fan quotes:

Tami Mavur a long-time fan of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim said, “I am a huge Tim Salmon fan. I was very sad about his retirement. I thought he had another year. I’m glad he went out on his terms and not someone else’s. I think this batting cage dedication is awesome. It should be in Orange County. He belongs to us. I’m exciting for us, for Orange County and for everybody here.”

Jared Owens, 12, of Los Alamitos said, “He’s a hero and a really good baseball player.”

“I’ve been a fan of Tim Salmon since 1993 since he won Rookie of the Year,” Raymond Reyes of Long Beach said. “I’ll still be an Angels fan but it’s going to be a terrible loss – his inspiration and his leadership.”

Tyler Kern of Brea said, “Today was awesome. It was a once in a life time opportunity to meet him and I loved it. I wear his number on my jersey. I’ve been a huge fan since my dad first took me to an Angels’ game where I bought my first Tim Salmon jersey.” Retired Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s leading home run hitter Tim Salmon during his batting cage dedication at Boomer’s in Irvine.

Retired Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s leading home run hitter Tim Salmon during his batting cage dedication at Boomer’s in Irvine.



Boomers presents retired Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s leading home run hitter Tim Salmon during his batting cage dedication at Boomer’s in Irvine.



Fans eagerly await retired Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s leading home run hitter Tim Salmon during his batting cage dedication at Boomer’s in Irvine.



Tyler Kern of Brea has a chance of a lifetime photo op with retired Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s leading home run hitter Tim Salmon during his batting cage dedication at Boomer’s in Irvine.



Twins Aaron Reuben and Ariana Rene of Anaheim pose with retired Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s leading home run hitter Tim Salmon during his batting cage dedication at Boomers in Irvine.

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