Parasiliti: DeWeerd fought the good fight for his beloved Suns
Bob Parasiliti (Joe Crocetta / April 15, 2012)
You can say it’s been his nature.
It all probably started when he elected to join the Air Force as a young man out of school.
Gary was more than willing to go a few rounds for his country. And after 24 years of service, he retired as a captain.
It didn’t end there, though.
Gary moved his family to Hagerstown. That’s when he, along with his wife Terry, found a new fight.
It was for the Hagerstown Suns.
Gary was an avid baseball fan, who instantly adopted the Suns after setting foot in Municipal Stadium.
The team represented a noble battle.
Hagerstown’s team was always the runt of professional baseball’s litter. The Suns played in an old stadium — still do — in a town that still ranks among the smallest markets. For years, players from various organizations have come here to play and have been forced to make the best of doing their jobs and pursuing their dreams without the amenities most others enjoy.
That became Gary’s crusade.
The mission he decided to accept was to help the players of his favorite team in his new favorite town while they were competing in his favorite pastime.
Gary’s dedication to all three was without reproach.
“When I first met Gary, he told me that he has been coming to Suns games for 15 straight years and never missed one,” said Al Nuzzi, a member of the team’s fan club.
Nuzzi was kind of skeptical, especially on one particular day. He looked around the stadium and Gary was nowhere to be found.
“I said ‘Where’s Gary?’” Nuzzi said.
He was told Gary felt chest pains that morning and was taken to Washington County Hospital, just around the corner from the stadium.
“Well, there goes the streak,” Nuzzi remembered saying.
But not for long. Come the fifth inning, there stood Gary.