Washington County has produced its fair share of major league baseball players and the Hagerstown Suns will honor them this season before the June 20th game versus Delmarva at Municipal Stadium as part of “Washington County Baseball Heritage Night.” The night is being held in conjunction with the Suns 35th Anniversary celebration.
Players born in Washington County who made it all the way to the big leagues include John Wilson (1913), Ike Powers (1927-1928), “Boots” Poffenberger (1937-1939), Vic Barnhart (1944-1946), Dave Cole (1950-1955), Leo Burke (1958-1965), Mike Draper (1993) and Nick Adenhart (2008-2009).
“For a relatively small county like this to produce eight major leaguers is remarkable, and it demonstrates the passion that area residents have for the game,” said Chris Easom, General Manager of the Suns.
Two other Washington County natives will also be honored. Mickey Billmeyer, a major league coach will be recognized as will Clyde Barhnhart, who was born in Buck Valley, Pennsylvania, but was a long-time county resident. He was also the father of Vic Barnhart.
The former players or their families will be represented on the field before the game.
I will be participating in a book signing before the game and include local authors Bob Savitt (The Blue Ridge League) and David B. Stinson,whose book Deadball: A Metaphysical Baseball Novel prominently features Municipal Stadium.
In addition, a baseball card poster featuring former Suns players will be given to the first 1,000 fans in attendance.
The Hagerstown/Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) has formed a Suns 35th Anniversary committee and has assisted in organizing this night. The committee is very interested to know if there are any Washington County big-leaguers who have been missed. To date, the committee has been unable to locate any relatives of John Wilson, the first big-leaguer from the county who hailed from Boonsboro and appeared in three games for the Senators. Wilson died in 1954 and is buried in Annapolis, MD. If you have relevant information, please contact the CVB at 301-739-3246.