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Malone soaks up Suns' shine

August 15, 2009

When the Hagerstown Suns announced their Sun-for-a-Day promotion in late July, they were looking for a story of positive influence in the Hagerstown community. When Jim Malone's name was submitted, the Suns' front office knew it could stop looking.

Malone, a teacher and coach at Mercersburg Academy, saved a local man's life in 2007, pulling Buck Windsor from a burning truck. Windsor heard about the Suns promotion in July, and submitted Malone's name and story to the Suns the very next day.

"Jim's story was above and beyond anything (the Suns) were expecting," said Suns President Bob Flannery. "We were looking for someone who epitomized community involvement, and community service. There is no service more valuable to a community than risking your life for someone else."

On Friday, Malone was honored by the Suns and given the opportunity to spend the day as a member of the team.

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Upon arriving at Municipal Stadium, Malone signed a one-day contract and was shown to his personal locker in the Suns clubhouse.

After meeting the team and coaching staff, Malone, donning his official No. 30 Suns jersey complete with his name on the back, took batting practice with the team.

"I started slowly," Malone said while on the radio with Suns broadcaster Ryan Mock during the game. "But by the third or fourth round, I was hitting the ball pretty well. Not bad considering I hadn't swung a bat since the ninth grade."

Malone also stood with the Suns on the field during the national anthem, sat in the dugout during the game and even coached first base in the bottom of the third inning -- all before a sell-out crowd of 5,419.

The Suns took a 1-0 lead in the third, but eventually lost 6-3 to the Augusta GreenJackets.

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