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What's in a name

July 16, 2002

Mike Mussina.

Jeff Bagwell.

Jim Thome.

Barry Bonds.

C.C. Sabathia.

Jay Gibbons.

Dwight Gooden.

Deion Sanders.

Bernie Williams.

Arthur Rhodes.

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Jose Mesa.

Andruw Jones.

Doug Creek.

Jason Kendall.

Russ Davis.

Kevin Stocker.

Jeromy Burnitz.

Milton Bradley.

Jim Abbott.

Juan Pierre.

Shannon Stewart.

Brent Abernathy.

Jerry Narron.

Buck Showalter.

Vernon Wells.

Andy Ashby.

Mike Lieberthal.

Leo Gomez.

Cesar Izturis.

Mike Young.

Brad Ausmus.

Einar Diaz.

Grady Little.

John Hart.

Eric Chavez.

Bill Ripken.

Richie Sexson.

Scott Rolen.

Richard Hidalgo.

Garrett Stephenson.

Vladimir Guerrero.

Mike Hargrove.

Frank Robinson.

Lou Piniella.

Derek Jeter.

Daryle Ward.

Preston Wilson.

John Rocker.

Jason Johnson.

Delino DeShields.

Mike Bordick.

Brian Daubach.

Magglio Ordonez.

Brook Fordyce.

Carlos Lee.

Josh Fogg.

Juan Encarnacion.

Jermaine Dye.

Cristian Guzman.

Mariano Rivera.

Nick Johnson.

Terrence Long.

Joe Kennedy.

Fred McGriff.

Steve Parris.

Kevin Millwood.

Odalis Perez.

Todd Helton.

Ryan Dempster.

Octavio Dotel.

Adrian Beltre.

Eric Gagne.

Jamey Wright.

Javier Vazquez.

Fernando Tatis.

Michael Barrett.

Orlando Cabrera.

Tony Armas Jr.

Armando Benitez.

Joe McEwing.

Jimmy Rollins.

Brandon Duckworth.

Chad Hermansen.

Aramis Ramirez.

Craig Wilson.

Eli Marrero.

D'Angelo Jimenez.

Tom Davey.

Brady Anderson.

Jim Palmer.

Anthony Telford.

Rick Bauer.

Ricky Gutierrez.

David Segui.

Travis Driskill.

Rick Reed.

Joe Girardi.

Jamie Moyer.

Mike Stanton.

Steve Finley.

Mike Jackson.

Julio Franco.

Andy Fox.

Jose Lind.

If anyone has paid attention in the last 22 years, these names have two things in common. they are a partial list of players, coaches, managers and front office personnel who have been or are now in baseball's Major Leagues.

And each one of them has made a whistle stop in Hagerstown to play baseball at Municipal Stadium along their way.

Not all of them are Orioles players. Some of them didn't play here as Orioles, but are now part of the Baltimore organization. And not all of them are Hall of Famers. But all of them used the corner of Cannon Avenue and Memorial Boulevard as one of those stepping stones.

True fans of baseball - not just the ones who have to cheer for the Orioles because this is Maryland - have been rewarded by their patience. They are the ones who had the opportunity to say they saw any and all of these guys, get an autograph or record a memory while these guys took the opportunity to run down a dream. Now they can say "I knew that guy when ..."

To some, because of the stadium issue, those opportunities are unimportant. They'd rather scream for countless reasons against keeping something that makes this area unique than relish the possibilities.

The time has come to make a decision on the stadium issue, either way, once and for all.

Money aside, it's a choice that could knock this "baseball town" out of the baseball business, shutting down the chance for more childhood memories and Hagerstown's small foothold of shaping the future of the game - not the business - of baseball.

Bob Parasiliti is a staff writer for The Herald-Mail. His column appears every other Tuesday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2310, or by e-mail at bobp@herald-mail.com

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