It’s always nice to be the answer to a trivia question.
Well, maybe not always, but in the case of Cory Kreamer, becoming a part of school history was certainly a positive experience.
As the recent graduate of Father Judge High School can attest, after reminiscing about his scholastic baseball career, “Cory Kreamer” would be the correct response if someone asked who hit the first-ever home run in the Crusaders’ brand-new turf field that was introduced late in the season. The $2.8 million project is located at Ramp Playground across the street from the school.
Additionally, if someone inquired as to who was the only Father Judge player to participate in this year’s prestigious 27th annual Carpenter Cup Classic, Kreamer’s name would once again fill in the blank.
“It was a good year,” Kreamer said. “A lot of good things happened.”
After batting .451 as Judge’s leadoff hitter, centerfielder Kreamer was named a second-team All-Catholic League selection. That honor allowed the switch-hitter an opportunity to try out for the Carpenter Cup, a yearly All-Star tournament showcasing the best talent from 16 teams from Eastern Pennsylvania, South and Central New Jersey and Delaware. After one practice at Archbishop Wood and two more at Cardinal O’Hara, the travel-fatigued outfielder made the Catholic League squad. (The Philadelphia Public League team played against Delaware County on Tuesday afternoon after the Times went to press.)
Though impossible to truly gauge the excitement level of his teammates (Archbishop Ryan’s Bobby Romano and Gage Galeone also made the roster), it is safe to say that Kreamer fully recognized what a privilege it was to help represent his league and his school one last time.
“After playing against those guys during the year, you get a chance to know them as teammates,” Kreamer said. “They’re good dudes. It was pretty cool.”
Soft spoken and with a shy demeanor, Kreamer said he was “anxious” but not nervous when the first-round game began on Sunday afternoon at South Philadelphia’s Richie Ashburn Field in FDR Park; the field is a short jaunt from the Phillies’ Citizens Bank Park, which will host the Carpenter Cup semifinals and championship game.
Unaccustomed to starting a game on the bench, Kreamer ultimately came to bat three times. In between a ground out and a pop out, he faced a key moment in the home seventh of a scheduled nine-inning contest.
Trailing 7-5 with a runner on second, Kreamer ripped a ground-rule double down the third-base line to cut his team’s deficit to 7-6. Following a throwing error, he scored to tie the game at seven.
Unfortunately, the Catholic League, struggling to find strong arms on the mound because of various reasons (the league’s top two teams, Neumann-Goretti and La Salle, are still playing in the state playoffs, and some All-Catholic selectees chose not to play), fell apart in the ninth, surrendering six runs in a 13-7 defeat at the hands of Chester County.
While coaches thanked the players as they received a commemorative shirt, Kreamer emerged disappointed.
“I thought we would do better,” he said. “We had a lot of really good players. I figured we would go a lot further. I was looking forward to playing more games. I’m really bummed out.”
Instead, Kreamer will continue playing legion ball throughout the summer and into the fall. By then, he will be beginning his college career as an electrical engineering major at Gloucester County College (N.J.)… that is, if one of the many college scouts who watched him play on Sunday hasn’t changed Kreamer’s mind about his post-high school destination.
Either way, Kreamer still hopes to play baseball for many years to come.
“I love everything about the game,” he said. “I can’t pick just one or name them all. There are way too many to list. It’s such a crazy game in which anything can happen.”
During a season in which a young, underclassmen-heavy Father Judge team made the playoffs after going 4-8 in the Catholic League Red Division, Kreamer said he “always enjoyed” helping represent the Crusaders in a sport he began playing at “about two or three” years of age.
Asked to choose his career highlight, Kreamer immediately cited the aforementioned home run he blasted over the Father Judge left field scoreboard on May 9 against Lansdale Catholic.
“That was special,” Kreamer said. “That’s definitely something I will never forget.”
Ditto for the Carpenter Cup.
“Definitely,” he said. “I’m really glad I went out and made the team. I assumed everyone who could play would try out, but maybe they didn’t. It’s a shame. They would have experienced something they would always remember.” ••EndFragment