OWINGS MILLS — Baltimore Ravens veteran offensive guard Ben Grubbs hopes to be able to round the bases at his upcoming charity softball game after recently undergoing surgery to remove bone spurs.
Grubbs had surgery last week, the second time his ankle has been repaired over the past two years.
"I’m still rehabbing my ankle, and I would love to play in the softball game because I had a blast last year," Grubbs told Ravens24x7.com. "Getting my ankle right, that’s definitely my top priority. I feel great. I feel a lot better than the last surgery.
"I played in some pain the last two years. It’s been rough on me. Over the last two years, I accumulated more bone spurs and that was causing me problems. They got rid of those, hopefully. I give a lot of props to my doctors. They did a great job."
Grubbs has started 48 consecutive regular-season games.
Grubbs said he’ll be completely off crutches soon and in a walking boot. He has been rehabbing his ankle in Pensacola, Fla.
"Hopefully, I’ll be able to get back to 100 percent," said Grubbs, a Pro Bowl alternate selection last season who’s entering his fifth season as a starter. "I’m getting ready for an awesome season."
Grubbs’ second annual softball game is set for June 5 at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen.
Proceeds from the event go toward the Park Heights Boys & Girls Club, a cause that’s near to Grubbs’ heart.
Raised by a single mother, Deborah Grubbs, in the one stoplight town of Eclectic, Ala., Grubbs wants to give children a positive place to go after school.
"It’s a great experience for me, knowing the environment they are raised in," said Grubbs, a former first-round draft pick from Auburn who has a five-year-old son named Landon. "It’s a sensitive topic, especially for me. I know a lot of the kids are raised in single-parent homes. It’s a tough environment and I want to express my thoughts and feelings and help these kids that don’t have a father figure around."
Among those scheduled to attend the game: Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, Lardarius Webb, Michael Oher, Prescott Burgess, Lamar Divens, Haruki Nakamura, Aaron Maybin, Edgar Jones, Keion Carpenter, Johnny Culbreath, Brandon McKinney, Oniel Cousins, Justin Harper, Cory Redding, Terrence Cody and former Baltimore Orioles Al Bumbry and Scott McGregor.
Grubbs has also invited Michael Phelps, Vernon Davis, Juan Dixon and Governor Martin O’Malley, but is awaiting confirmation on their plans.
Roughly $50,000 was raised last year, and Grubbs has obtained 20 sponsors for this year.
"It’s all for a great cause," Grubbs said. "We’re giving them somewhere clean to go play after school."
Grubbs remains optimistic that the lockout will eventually be lifted and football will resume.
"I’m still hopeful, but I’m not thinking about it too much," Grubbs said. "I try to get my mind away from football, but I do still watch film on my own. At the end of the day, it’s up to the owners and the guys that represent the NFL players. I trust them and what they’re doing and I know they have our best interests in mind. Whenever football starts, I’ll be ready.
"I miss being around my teammates. I do miss the routine. You can get in shape and work hard, but there’s nothing like being around your brothers that you go to war with. I definitely miss that, but I’m enjoying being around my family. That time with my son, being a father, that means everything to me."
NOTE: For information on obtaining tickets for the game and a charity cocktail party, go to www.bengrubbs66.com
Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times