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Smithsburg baseball league kicks off season

June 04, 2008

SMITHSBURG - With the sun shining brightly and children ready to play ball, the Smithsburg Little Sluggers - a division of Babe Ruth and Cal Ripken Baseball - held opening-day ceremonies earlier this spring at their ballfield behind Smithsburg Fire Hall.

The league has 260 children between the ages of 4 and 15, and there are 21 teams in four different divisions.

During the ceremonies, the league individually recognized each of the players and made two other recognitions.

The first was the dedication of a new batting cage in memory of longtime supporter and manager Ronnie Johnson. There were several family members and friends of Ronnie's in attendance as a plaque that is being put on the new batting cage was presented to the league in recognition of a donation made to the league in his memory.

Johnson was an avid outdoorsman, and a turkey call made by friends was auctioned in his memory. The proceeds from the turkey call, which was sold for more than $1,300, was donated to the league.

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There also was a moment of silence in memory of Alison Munson, Chris Nicholson and all those affected by the tragic events in Smithsburg this past winter.

Letters from former Baltimore Oriole and Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. and from the president and CEO of Babe Ruth International, Steve Tellefsen, were read to the crowd.

Smithsburg Mayor Mildred Myers and former league player and current Smithsburg Police Chief Chuck Stanford, Smithsburg Police Officer Chuck Johnson, and Paul and Karen Highbarger were also in attendance.

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