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Hagerstown Suns to start Hall of Fame

January 13, 2009

The Hagerstown Suns have announced the creation of a Suns Hall of Fame and the inaugural class to be inducted in 2009.

Grady Little, Mike Mussina, Vernon Wells and Matt Cain will all be honored at Municipal Stadium, and 1,000 commemorative bronze statuettes of each former Sun will be handed out during the season.

As part of the promotion, the Suns will be offering a special Hall of Fame ticket package, including tickets to all four statuette giveaway nights and Opening Day, for $45. Fans purchasing the ticket package will also be guaranteed a statue each night, along with all VIP Full-Season and VIP Mini-Plan ticket holders.

"All four players spent time with the Suns, and their contributions to the game since leaving Hagerstown have warranted their inclusion," said Suns president and general manager Bob Flannery. "The fact that these four men came through Hagerstown with three different organizations and have gone on to great success in the Major Leagues makes this an excellent inaugural class for the Suns Hall Of Fame."

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Little was the first of the four to be affiliated with the Suns, acting as manager in 1981 and 1982 as well as for a portion of the 1984 season. In 1981, the Suns' inaugural season, Little led them to the Carolina League championship. Since leaving the Suns, Little has managed four seasons in the major leagues, with the Boston Red Sox in 2002-03 and the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2006-07. His career record is 358-290, a .552 winning percentage.

Mussina started his professional career in Hagerstown, going 3-0 with a 1.49 ERA in 1990 while in the Baltimore Orioles' farm system. Mussina reached the majors in 1991 and compiled a career record of 270-153 and an ERA of 3.68 efore retiring from the New York Yankees following the 2008 season.

Wells, now a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, came through Hagerstown in 1998, when he hit .285 with 11 home runs and 65 RBIs at age 18. Wells has played more than 1,000 games with the Blue Jays in his 10-year career, and has twice been named to the American League All-Star Team. The fleet-footed center fielder has hit .300 or better four times in his career and has reached the 30-homer plateau twice.

Cain, a right-handed starting pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, has pitched in 105 games with a 3.74 ERA for the Giants. He spent the 2003 season with the Suns, going 4-4 with a 2.55 ERA in 14 starts. Cain placed fifth in the 2006 National League Rookie of the Year voting.

Along with statuettes, all four players will be honored with plaques hanging in the Suns Hall Of Fame area, which will be unveiled in the Hagerstown Trust Plaza at Municipal Stadium in April.

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