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Gehr famously ends career with Suns

August 28, 2010|By BOB PARASILITI

Carol Gehr got a chance to experience something for the first -- and last --time of her career.

She sat down to watch the Hagerstown Suns play baseball ... and she did it in rather historic fashion.

The Suns celebrated as Gehr closed the final day of her 25-year career as the team's director of business operations with a pregame ceremony before Hagerstown's game with Delmarva at Municipal Stadium. It turned into a reunion of former Suns front office employees that ended with her surprise induction into the Suns Hall of Fame.

And on her last day, she rested.

"I'm going to stay and watch a game for the first time," she said Friday. "I really never had a chance to do that."

That's because for much of her time with the Suns, she was either in the front office working or doing odd jobs, like working in the ticket booth, to help the team run smoothly. It all prevented her from seeing the product on the field since she joined the team in 1985 to work with late general manager Bob Miller.

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The Suns surprised Gehr by bringing back former general managers Kurt Landes and Will Smith and former assistant GM C.J. Johnson to wish her well in her retirement.

Then she was presented with the plaque to commemorate her induction for "being the heart and soul of the team while working for five general managers during her tenure."

She became only the second non-player inducted, joining the late John Henry Moss, the former South Atlantic League president.

But maybe more importantly, she is the first women to be enshrined.

"This is great," she said. "To be a woman and last at this job for 25 years, you don't see that happening in minor leagues."

Gehr was greeted by family and longtime friends -- including her son Mike, who has spent many years working at a concession stand selling beer for the Suns -- as she left her field.

Then, retirement actually began.

"I'm going to try and come back to see some games," Gehr said. "I don't know though ... I think I'm going to relax."

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