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County Hall of Fame to induct five new members

June 20, 2005|by LARRY YANOS

larryy@herald-mail.com

The Washington County Sports Hall of Fame will add five new members at its 19th annual induction banquet July 16 at the Hagerstown Elks Lodge No. 378 on Robinwood Drive.

The class of 2005 includes Mick Billmeyer, Steve Cline, Gary Fahrney, Harry Parks and Dennis Reeder.

A social hour will be held from 6 to 7 p.m., followed by dinner.

Tickets, at $20 each, are available by calling Gregg DeLauney at 240-675-1228, Julie Sanders at 301-241-3612, Andy Reid at 1-877-610-6901 or Rick Schultz at 301-790-3399.

-- Mick Billmeyer played football and baseball at North Hagerstown High School and Hagerstown Community College.

He was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 30th round of the 1984 baseball draft but did not sign. He accepted a scholarship to North Carolina State and was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in 1985 in the second round.

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Billmeyer played with the Orioles, Texas Rangers and California Angels organization, reaching the Triple-A level with the Angels.

He made All-Star teams in the Florida State League and California League.

Billmeyer was hired by the Angels in 1994 as a bullpen coordinator and resigned in 2000 to accept a coaching job with the Philadelphia Phillies as a roving coaching instructor. In 2004, he was promoted with the Phillies organization as the Major League catching instructor.

He hit a pinch-hit home run in 1996 against Montreal in the annual Major League Hall of Fame game in Cooperstown, N.Y. - the only major league coach to do that.

-- Steve Cline played baseball, football and basketball while attending North Hagerstown High School.

He earned a baseball scholarship to Clemson University and was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year in 1974.

He pitched in the San Francisco Giants farm system from 1974 to 1980 and was a minor league pitching instructor from 1981 to 1995.

He joined the Milwaukee Brewers organization in 1996 and still serves as a minor league pitching instructor.

As a youth, he played for the American Little League, Hagerstown Pony League, Hagerstown Colt League, Funkstown Legion and Hagerstown Community College.

-- Gary Fahrney attended North Hagerstown High School and was a member of the 1972 state basketball championship team.

He earned a full baseball scholarship to Clemson University in 1975. He played in the College World Series in 1976.

The first baseman was a second team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection, batting .323 with a .978 fielding average in helping the Tigers gain ACC championships in 1975 and 1976.

Fahrney played in the 1971 Colt League World Series - a member of Hagerstown's world championship team - and was also a member of the Funkstown Legion state championship team in 1972.

-- Harry Parks was a four-sport letterman while attending Hagerstown High School (baseball, basketball, football and track and field).

Parks was voted his school's "Most Outstanding Athlete" in 1952-1953. The Maryland Junior Chamber of Commerce honored him with a selection to Maryland's First Team, all 23 counties for the 1952 football season.

He also won the Maryland State pole vault championship in 1953.

Following graduation, Parks earned a football scholarship to Western Maryland College and made the starting lineup his freshman year.

Parks dropped out of school and joined the Army that year following the death of his father. He excelled in Army baseball and basketball while in Germany and was elected to the "Rhein League All-Stars" which played in the U.S. Armed Forces Championship.

After his discharge from the Army, Parks enrolled at Hagerstown Junior College and played both baseball and basketball.

Parks later played fastpitch softball for the Noland's city championship team and played basketball for the Fairchild Packets. He later took up the game of golf. He has two career holes-in-one and won the 1992 Senior Club championship at the Beaver Creek Country Club Golf Course.

-- Dennis Reeder was made an honorary member at the 2001 banquet. Before passing away in September of that year, he said the Hall of Fame honor was the greatest of his life.

Reeder signed a professional baseball contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1946. He was later drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1949 and was invited to their spring camp in 1953.

His contract was sold to the New York Giants during the winter of 1956 and he went on voluntary retirement at the end of that year.

Following his years in professional baseball, Reeder pitched for the Boonsboro Yellow Jackets for several years, coached Babe Ruth League baseball for 20 years and assisted various youth leagues.

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