Fans get a chance to own piece of Suns' history

October 14, 2000

Fans get a chance to own piece of Suns' history

By JULIE E. GREENE / Staff Writer

Hagerstown Suns jerseys worn during games, bats cracked during games, flags that flew during games, even patches made for games were on sale Saturday at Municipal Stadium.

Fans could even buy the name off a player's back - $5 for a minor leaguer, $10 for a player who had been called up to the majors.

Ryan Kelly, 14, of Hagerstown, picked up a pair of used pants.

The second baseman and catcher for the Maugansville Senior League was looking for a pair that would fit and perhaps also become noteworthy if its former owner someday becomes a famous player.

The former owner of the home whites appeared to be third baseman Robert Cosby since "Cosby" was written inside the lining.


Rob Smetzer, 36, also picked up a couple of pairs of pants he plans to wear during practice for the Clear Spring High School baseball team, for which he is a volunteer coach.

While the sale was held inside the team's clubhouse, there were no dressing rooms available so Smetzer said he sneaked out onto the field to try on the pants.

The cost of items for sale ranged from 75 cents for softballs to $125 for white home jerseys worn during games. Fans could buy blue batting practice jerseys or team jackets for $75, cracked bats for $10 and adjustable caps for $7.50.

Smetzer and other fans appreciated the sale, which helped the Suns get rid of Toronto Blue Jays-affiliated items and gave fans an opportunity to buy merchandise usually not for sale. The Suns, formerly a Toronto farm team, will be affiliated with the San Francisco Giants next year.

"I think it's wonderful," said Smetzer, who also picked up two Suns Beanie babies for his kids, Brittany, 9, and Ryan, 5.

The kids thought Jay-Jay the Blue Jay would be up for sale, said their mother, Kori.

While the team mascot wasn't available, plenty else was, including the halo patches added to players' home uniforms last year as a way of thanking fans who supported the Suns' church bulletin promotion.

The promotion, which gives discounts to fans who bring a church bulletin to the game, drew complaints of religious discrimination from a local man and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Also for sale were the flags that flew around the rim of the stadium representing the various South Atlantic League teams.

Will Brandenburg, 11, said he picked the Delmarva Shorebirds flag because that team is affiliated with the Baltimore Orioles.

He also got the home jersey for catcher Josh Holliday because catcher is Will's favorite position and the one he plays with his friends.

Will may have to wait until Christmas to take possession of some of the items, said his father, Hal Brandenburg Jr., of Hagerstown.

Caleb Conner, 8, also may find Suns memorabilia under the Christmas tree.

His dad, Will Conner, 34, of Falling Waters, W.Va., left the clubhouse with outfielder Shannon Carter's game jersey and the uniform name plates for infielder Jesse Zepeda and pitchers John Sneed and Clayton Andrews.

Conner said he chose items those players had used because they were his son's favorites.

The sale will continue until the Toronto merchandise is gone, said General Manager David Blenckstone. San Francisco Giants-related merchandise is expected to be available for sale before December.

Staff Writer Dan Spears contributed to this story.

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