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Maryland loses, but a Sunday Little League double header sparks memories [Commentary]

Well, the Maryland baseball game wasn't on ESPN2 Monday night, but rather ESPNU. Either way, however, the Terps seemingly magical ride came to an end with the lopsided 11-2 loss at the hands of Virginia. Certainly not the way Maryland players and fans hoped the season might end, but it did.

While Maryland was trying for the sweep Sunday in Charlottesville, Va., another game or two was played a little more closer to home. In fact, real close.

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Little League baseball and softball does not make it a habit to play Sunday games during what is known as the regular season. All-Stars is a different story. For my team, the Riptide, that changed Sunday as we were part of a double header with a Rising Sun Giants team that we had played just a matter of days earlier.

With a lack of teams in Havre de Grace, Rising Sun and Perryville, we were forced to have one league. Because of rainouts, Sunday's double header was scheduled, under two conditions. No game before 1:30 p.m. and both games five innings.

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The fact is, there was nothing really special about the games, other than for a few of my kids, it may have been a first-time experience of such.

Interestingly though, playing a double header to begin with, and on a Sunday, brought back memories.

Some 32 or so years ago, on a Memorial Day Weekend Sunday, a team of young and energetic baseball players became Havre de Grace Little League's Big League team.

In those days, Senior Division baseball aged out at 15 and softball wasn't even a thought. So, Big League, which is still played today, was created for 16- to 18-year-olds. Now, senior league age stops at 16, while Big League is for 17- to 18-year-olds.

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OK, so in our white with maroon pinstripes uniforms, we made our debut in the best of places: Elkton Little League's Eder Park. That 90-foot baseball field in those days was as nice as any I had played on.

Other than an upset All-Star victory some years earlier over Elkton in Major Division play, we had not had much success against Elkton teams. That changed that Sunday.

Somewhat shockingly, I don't recall the scores, but I do recall one of the funnier moments after one of our brighter moments.

Elkton's pitcher had a last name of Bass, pronounced like a fish not a guitar. Our hitter, George Bond, pronounced like James Bond, got ahold of a nice pitch and sent it deep over the high right field fence.

Bond was a good friend of mine and my brother, Greg, who was not on the team as he was still in Senior League play. Bond was called a few nicknames, but one of those by his grandma was Buck or Georgie Buck.

When Buck hit that ball over that fence, many people on the field and in the stands celebrated. My brother, Greg, promptly quipped, "Georgie Buck took that fish deep."

That shot was the first of a few hit by our team that year. Bond's blast was huge in getting Havre de Grace Big League off and running, and it was another blast that ended just a wonderful year.

Back in Elkton, but playing Rising Sun in an winner-take-all playoff, Scott Long (aka Dr. Long Ball) delivered the biggest blast of them all that put the exclamation point on our championship season.

One that began with a double header on a Sunday.

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