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Hagerstown businessman hits home run with Suns eBay bid

May 17, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN

Tony Dahbura, 46, has worked out with the Hagerstown Suns baseball team before games for four years.

He has a uniform and a locker in the team's clubhouse.

And now, for the second time, he will be seen on a Suns baseball card that will be included in the team set. Dahbura placed the winning bid on eBay to be included in the 2006 set. He paid $464 for the honor.

"It's another way for me to be part of the team," he said.

Dahbura, corporate vice president of Hub Labels Inc. and a lifelong baseball fan, was a member of the under-18 El Salvador national team when he lived there as a teenager. While attending Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, he played second base and outfield.

After graduating, he stayed with the team as a coach while attending graduate school.

"I live for it," Dahbura said of his role with the Suns.

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Suns Assistant General Manager Will Smith said when the club auctioned the opportunity to be on a baseball card several years ago, the winning bid was about $200.

"I was expecting something similar," he said. "So, the price went up a little more than I thought."

Dahbura said his winning bid was comparable to his annual salary for working with the team.

There were 18 total bids, and the starting price, set by the Suns, was 99 cents.

"We're mostly just trying to create a new opportunity for a fan out there," Smith said. "Anyone could be in the set."

He said the club will likely offer the chance to be in the baseball card set again, but was not sure if it would be an annual opportunity.

Dahbura said his card from the 2003 Suns set sells for 80 cents in a pack of six cards on eBay. He paid about $100 to be included in that set, but did not win the online auction held that year, Smith said.

"It's just something cool to have to commemorate my year with the team," he said.

Dahbura shows up a few hours before most home games at Municipal Stadium to catch fly balls during the team's batting practice. He said if he is late, or cannot make it, he hears about it from the team.

Dahbura even works out during the off season so he can be in shape for the pregame workout.

"I have to," he said. "These guys are half my age."

While having his photo on a baseball card included with the Hagerstown Suns is exciting, Dahbura said he sees it as an extension of his role with the team.

"It's nice," he said. "But I'm not a baseball player."

The card set is expected to be released in mid-June, Smith said.

They will be available at the team store at Municipal Stadium and online at www.hagerstownsuns.com.

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