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Autographed balls to benefit Adenhart Fund

July 30, 2009|By BOB PARASILITI

Before his death, Nick Adenhart was beginning to make a mark as a major league baseball player.

Now, many major league players are making marks on baseballs to remember the young pitcher.

The Hagerstown Suns will hold a benefit drawing beginning Saturday, featuring autographed baseballs from a number of major league baseball figures and present Suns players and coaches, to lend a hand in raising money for the Nick Adenhart Memorial Fund.

All proceeds from the drawing will go to the fund, which was created in the memory of the former Williamsport High and Los Angeles Angels pitcher. Adenhart and two friends were killed on April 9 in a three-car crash in Fullerton, Calif., shortly after he pitched the best game of his short major league career.

"The Hagerstown Suns are proud to be able to use our place in the community to contribute to a cause that is such a fitting tribute to the life of Nick Adenhart," Suns president and general manager Bob Flannery said. "This drawing will help kids close to home and across the country continue to play the game that Nick Adenhart loved."

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For a minimum donation of $10, fans will be allowed to draw a numbered ticket that corresponds with a list of numbers given to the balls. Any donations to the fund will be accepted and larger donations (in increments of $10) will allow multiple draws for the autographs.

The charity drawing will begin Saturday in Municipal Stadium's concourse at 6:05 p.m., when the Suns open the gates before their scheduled game with the West Virginia Power.

More than 370 autographed baseballs will be available in the drawing, which will continue during every home game until all the balls are claimed. Players from 17 major league teams have signed balls.

The list includes Philadelphia pitcher Cole Hamels, Florida pitcher Josh Johnson, Arizona pitcher Dan Haren, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre and former New York Yankees hitting great Don Mattingly.

The Baltimore Orioles are represented with balls from Nick Markakis, Adam Jones and George Sherrill. The Washington Nationals have sent balls signed by Nick Johnson, Austin Kearns and Willie Harris. And the Angels have donated balls signed by Vlad Guerrero, Chone Figgins, Joe Saunders, Jared Weaver and Maicir Izturis.

"The support we received from teams throughout the major leagues was truly overwhelming," said Ryan Mock, the Suns' director of media relations and broadcasting. "The quality and quantity of the donations provided is a testament to how greatly the baseball world was moved by Nick's passing, and how strongly people believe in the cause at the heart of the Nick Adenhart Memorial Fund."

The Nick Adenhart Memorial Fund is a nonprofit organization geared to helping grassroots, youth baseball leagues survive.

The Adenhart family made $5,000 donations to Halfway Little League and the Hagerstown PONY League earlier this month. The two leagues were selected because they were where Adenhart played as a youth.

Donations to the Nick Adenhart Memorial Fund may be made in care of Geier Financial Group, 2205 Warwick Way, Suite 200, Marriottsville, MD 21104.

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