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Smith heading west for Senior Championships

September 22, 2004|by LARRY YANOS

larryy@herald-mail.com

Kellar Smith of Hagerstown is heading west this weekend to compete in the Senior World Championships.

The 65-year-old Smith is a member of the Joe Corbi's Pizza-sponsored slow pitch softball team out of Baltimore and the group will compete in Las Vegas next week against some of the best teams in the country.

"It should be some strong competition," Smith said. "They're coming from all over the country. It may even be bigger than the World Series. That tournament in Iowa included 28 teams in the 65-and-over bracket, 70 in the 70-and-over, six in the 75-and-over, four in the 80-and-over, and 15 in the women's division."

Smith's team competes throughout the spring and summer in a league in Glen Burnie, Md.

The team finished regular-season league play with a 24-10 record and went on to win the World Series in August. The event was held in Des Moines, Iowa.

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"The regular-season is a little misleading because it's a small league and consisted of teams of 50-and-over, 60-and-over and 65-and-over. We were competitive against the different age groups but real tough when playing 65-and-over teams. I think we lost four games all year."

Smith, who mostly plays first base and the outfield, sparked the team to an 8-1 record and the World Series championship by hitting a lofty .650 - good enough for an all-tournament selection.

"I had a good series but so did the team," Smith said. "We won five straight games, lost to Emerald City (from Seattle, Wash.) but then we returned the favor by beating them in the championship game."

It has, indeed, been a long, yet successful, year for the softball team.

"With the regular-season play every Tuesday night and tournaments, we'll probably play 70 games this year," Smith said. "We play from early April until October."

The Joe Corbi's Pizza team is composed of motsly players from the Baltimore area but also includes Smith; Jack Wells of Greencastle, Pa.; Richard Hill of Marion, Pa.; John Mills and Larry Stengel of Chambersburg, Pa.; and Clarence Lewis of Cumberland, Md.

"It has been fun," Smith said of his association with the Joe Corbi's-sponsored softball team. "Before I joined them, I managed and played for the Good Ol' Boys in Hagerstown. I was manager from 1989 to 1999. I liked that, too, but it was just too much trying to manage and play at the same time."

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