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Montgomery gets call to softball Hall

April 17, 2010|By MARK KELLER
  • Dick Montgomery will be inducted into the Maryland Softball Hall of Fame today.
File photo,

HAGERSTOWN -- Dick Montgomery's Hall of Fame day was supposed to have come a lot sooner, but that doesn't worry the Hagerstown resident.

He's just glad to be having his day.

Montgomery will be one of 10 members of the Class of 2010 inducted into the Maryland Softball Hall of Fame today at the UAW Hall in Baltimore.

He'll become just the second Washington County resident to be so honored. Kellar Smith was inducted three years ago.

Montgomery said he was supposed to be in "on the ground floor" when the Hall of Fame was launched five years ago, even assisting in its organization.

That all changed when Montgomery's health took a bad turn. He went into complete kidney failure and, after a period of extensive dialysis, had a kidney transplant.

"Everything started to get better for me and then I got a call about being inducted in October," Montgomery said.

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Montgomery managed slow-pitch softball teams in Washington County for 29 years before retiring from the sport in 2003.

"We played locally all those years, but our main goal was weekends," Montgomery said. "We played in tournaments all over the country, from Ocean City to Las Vegas, Long Island to Florida."

His teams won four national championships and 21 state championships in Class A, the highest level of competition.

Montgomery said it was much tougher to reach the national tournament in his earlier days of managing.

"Most of the time when we played in the '70s and '80s, they only took the top teams to nationals and regionals," Montgomery said. "Now if you want to go to nationals all you have to do is send in an entry form.

"I think it's great for my team -- not for me -- because they accomplished more than just about any other team in the country."

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