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Hub City Home Run Derby to raise money for Marine Corps unit

Collection will be taken to benefit the members of 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, F Co.

September 08, 2010|By BOB PARASILITI
  • A home run contest Saturday at Municipal Stadium will do more than entertain those in attendance. It also will serve as a fundraiser to benefit a U.S. Marine Corps unit in Afghanistan, of which a local man is a member. A collection will be taken to benefit the members of 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, F Co. in Marjah, Afghanistan. Sgt. Justin A. Langlotz, a 2003 graduate of Washington County Technical High School, serves with the unit. Langlotz stands in the back, second from the right.
Submitted photo,

A home run contest Saturday at Municipal Stadium will do more than entertain those in attendance. It also will serve as a fundraiser to benefit a U.S. Marine Corps unit in Afghanistan, of which a local man is a member.

Hub City Softball and the City of Hagerstown's recreation department have joined forces to create the Hub City Home Run Derby. The event begins at 5:30 p.m.

Admission is free, but a collection will be taken to benefit the members of 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, F Co. in Marjah, Afghanistan. Sgt. Justin A. Langlotz, a 2003 graduate of Washington County Technical High School, serves with the unit.

Hub City Softball President Doug Levine said members of Langlotz's family might attend the event. He said there also could be pictures of Langlotz and his company on display.

"It makes you appreciate what you have, and what they do to ensure that," Levine said.

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The home run contest was the idea of Lewie Thomas, coordinator of the city's recreation department. It is designed to give 50 of the region's top power hitters a chance to swing for the fences on a field much larger than a normal softball field.

Local players, as well as participants from Baltimore, Virginia and Delaware, have signed up to take their shots at clearing the 19-foot wall in center field that is 400 feet from home plate. The field measures 335 feet down each foul line.

"We thought about having it at places like Fairgrounds Park, where they play games, but not many have been able to say they have put it out at the stadium over the center-field wall," Thomas said.

"We had a home run derby at Halfway Park and it was nothing like this," Levine said. "Most guys would love the chance to play on a professional baseball field, just for the chance to play with the lights on. It's a chance to showcase their talents in front of all of their friends."

The contest, which is sponsored by The Greene Turtle, has been advertised on a softball website. If 50 hitters participate, the winner will be awarded $500, the runner-up will receive $300 and $100 will go to the third-place finisher.

"No one has asked, 'How much are you giving away?'" Levine said. "It's a matter of winning and to be the best. Some have said they know they aren't going to win, but they just want the chance to hit in a professional stadium and have their wife take a picture of them while they are standing at the plate. That's all they want."

Levine said his place of employment took up a collection for the unit and sent $200 of nonperishable items. He said the unit sent a thank-you note and included a picture.

"They were so grateful for the donations because they don't have many things because they are out in the field," Levine said. "We were sending them candy, beef jerky -- anything with fat in it -- and Ziploc bags. Justin has lost 25 pounds while being stationed over there."

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