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Little League job fits Hammond like a glove

May 18, 2010|By JANET HEIM

HAGERSTOWN -- Baseball has been a constant in Larry Hammond's life. A longtime Baltimore Orioles fan, he began his own career as a player at American Little League.

That being said, Hammond considers himself a better administrator than coach and player. Recently voted as district administrator for Little League's Maryland District 1, the 1971 North Hagerstown High School graduate said he wasn't "a stellar player" when he played baseball as a boy; he just liked playing the game.

The Hagerstown native said he coached in the minors at National Little League for two years, but didn't feel that was his calling.

"I felt there were better coaches," said Hammond, 56.

He said he felt honored when asked to be the District 1 administrator after Rick Carter's three-year term ended last June. Hammond said one of the key considerations for him was that the appointed all-volunteer District 1 staff stay intact.

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Hammond said he needed their combined 271 years of involvement and experience with Little League to be successful.

"If it wouldn't be for them, I wouldn't have done this. All those people have so much to offer," he said.

Each of the 12 leagues in District 1 -- American, Clear Spring, Conococheague, Federal, Halfway, Hancock, Maugansville, National, Sharpsburg, South Mountain, Valley and West End -- elects a board of directors and president who oversee their league. The district administrator governs the 12 leagues.

"I've had a lot of fun and learned a lot," Hammond said.

Hammond said he's busy early in the baseball season as he visits all of the leagues. E-mail allows him to stay in touch, answer questions and pass along information from Williamsport, Pa.

"It's about building integrity, character, discipline, self-confidence. As district administrator and president, that's what you try to do," said Hammond, who added that it should be fun for the players.

Hammond and his wife, Cathy, live in the Paramount area. They have a son and daughter, both of whom played sports at North Hagerstown High School.

When their son started playing baseball for Federal Little League, Cathy served as secretary of the board of directors, which led to the beginning of Larry's involvement. He served as president of the league from 1996-2000.

Hammond is a master scheduler at Volvo Powertrain. He works his paid job until 4 or 4:30 p.m., then shifts to volunteer mode, which often means getting home between 9 and 10 p.m.

In addition to his year-round commitment to Little League as district administrator, Hammond is president of Northwood Pool, which is a seasonal effort. He was involved with the North Hagerstown High Athletic Boosters for two years and helps with PONY League.

"I think everyone should give back to the community -- something positive in their lifetime. This is my contribution," Hammond said.

He adds that Little League couldn't be done without the support of coaches, umpires, district staff, league presidents and families.

"Can we please everyone? No, but you come here, hear the national anthem, see the kids learn discipline ... that's what it's all about," Hammond said.

"Little League is doing a lot of things right. This can only be done with all the help that's been given to me."

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