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Student's Ballpark Figures Go Up

April 18, 1998|FRANK MESSINA

Devin Quinn stood in the family backyard on a recent afternoon, cupped a baseball in his pitching hand and fired a heater, pretending he was on the mound at Edison Field with thousands of people cheering in the stands.

Tonight his personal field of dreams will be replaced by the real thing as the 12-year-old Mission Viejo boy--a winner in an Anaheim Angels mural contest--will toss out the first pitch at Edison Field.

"I was a little nervous with just two people watching in my backyard," Quinn said. "But I always wanted to throw the first pitch. I think it will be fun."

Quinn's mural was chosen from more than 200 entries submitted by 31 Orange County schools. His portrayal of the contest theme, Angels in Your Hometown, has been transferred to an 8 1/2-foot by 11-foot canvas that will be displayed between gates three and four at the stadium for the season.

The Newhart Middle School student's artwork depicts his neighborhood with Angels team members playing on the rooftops.

"It's very colorful and it catches the theme of our contest, which is Angels in the community," said Dennis Bickmeier, team manager of community relations.

The sixth-grader has quite the sports resume: He plays organized games throughout the year, from Pop Warner football to Little League baseball.

A third baseman in the Rancho Mission Viejo Little League, Quinn's friends call him "Hoover" because his glove seems to suck up ground balls. His baseball card collection numbers more than 1,000 and the last two years, Quinn and his father, Tony, have traveled to Arizona to catch spring training.

His mother, Linda Quinn, will be part of a group of 45 cheering the boy at the ballpark tonight.

"He watches [ESPN's] Sports Center every morning, the minute he gets up, he reads the sports page," she said. "We're all very excited for him."

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