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Roberts bobbleheads given away at Suns game

July 07, 2007|By ERIN JULIUS

Throwing out a ceremonial first pitch at Hagerstown Suns games is the only public appearance that makes author Nora Roberts nervous, she said Friday night before her annual toss.

Roberts practiced her pitch prior to the game, and was "throwing like a girl,", Roberts said.

The best-selling author started attending Hagerstown Suns games with her children 15 years ago, she said.

The first 1,000 fans who arrived Friday received Nora Roberts bobbleheads. Hundreds of fans already were waiting in line for their bobbleheads an hour before the game started.

"It's a scream," Roberts said as she held her bobbleheaded likeness.

Friday's Suns game was the first time a romance author's bobblehead was given away at a professional baseball game, said Tom Riford, president and chief executive officer of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The bureau and Turn The Page Bookstore in Boonsboro, owned by Roberts' husband, sponsored the bobblehead.

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Friday was Nora Roberts Day in Washington County, Washington County Commissioners President John F. Barr declared.

Before the game, Barr read a proclamation from the commissioners. He called Roberts one of the world's most recognized and best-selling authors of all time.

Riford presented Roberts and her husband, Bruce Wilder, with matching Suns jerseys in honor of the couple's 22nd wedding anniversary Friday.

Fans chanted "Nora, Nora" as the author left the field after her pitch.

Tonya Feke drove from Connecticut for Roberts' appearance at Friday's game, and got a chance to meet the author when Roberts signed bobbleheads and books during the game's first few innings.

"I've read everything she's ever written," Feke said after she had her photograph taken with the author. Roberts' book takes her to a whole other world, Feke said.

"I go somewhere else for a few hours a day," she said.

Washington County residents also turned out to support the woman who Riford called the county's most famous citizen.

Cinda Toms of Hagerstown believes it says a lot about Washington County that Roberts chooses to live in the area when she could live anywhere in the world, Toms said.

Shannon Snyder of Smithsburg wanted to meet Roberts, she said.

"She keeps the read intrigued," Snyder said. "You've got to admire that in this hectic world."

Terri Solomos of Boonsboro wanted the Roberts bobblehead because the author is a local celebrity, Solomos said. Her daughter, Rachel Solomos, reads Roberts' books and wanted to meet the author.

"She has really good storylines," Rachel Solomos said.

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