Doug O'Neill's baseball career ended 26 years ago after high school. It's been reborn this spring, and on June 8 the trainer of I'll Have Another will add Yankee Stadium to Camden Yards on his Triple Crown victory tour.
O'Neill said Monday that Jessica Steinbrenner has invited him, owner Paul Reddam and jockey Mario Gutierrez to throw the ceremonial first ball on the eve of the Belmont Stakes before the Mets-Yankees game. On May 15, four days before the Preakness, he showed off his arm -- "a little chin music," he said -- before the Orioles hosted the Yankees.
"If all goes well , they said they'd have the three of us throw it out together to symbolize the Triple Crown,'' O'Neill said. "What an honor it is. That should be a blast.''
Steinbrenner runs Kinsman Farm, an 820-acre spread in Ocala, Fla., that her late father, George, purchased in 1969, four years before buying the Yankees. Jessica Steinbrenner, a horse lover all her life, as a child rode one of George's first graded-stakes winners, Big Whippendeal.