Last Updated: March 16, 2015
Welcome to the Hagerstown Braves (Maryland) Semi-Professional Baseball Website. The 2015 Season marks the Teams 38th Year in existence. Over the past 37 years, the Braves have collected 1,104 Wins and only 487 defeats. This season will be the Braves second season in the West Shore Twilight Baseball League. The Braves have won 12 League Titles and numerous Tournaments around the Four State Region. We would like to thank you for visiting our site and please check back with us throughout the season.
HALL OF FAME NOD GIVES CUNNINGHAM PROOF HE PLAYED BASEBALL
by Bob Parasiliti (The Herald-Mail)
Dan Cunningham finally has proof of what has become a trivia question.
Most everyone knows him as North Hagerstown’s football coach. He’s had a measure of success in that gig.
But he also was a baseball player — a catcher — during the spring after quarterbacking the Hubs football team as a student.
“A lot of people look at me and say, ‘You played baseball?’” Cunningham said.
Baseball was a bigger part of his life than most people remember, since he spent 14 years as a member of the Hagerstown Braves.
And now, the baseball people helped him prove it.
Cunningham will be a member of the largest induction class ever to the National Semi-Pro Baseball Association Hall of Fame in Evansville, Ind., in November. He will follow the late Reno Powell to become the second straight Braves member to be inducted into the newly built shrine.
Powell was the founder and longtime manager for the Braves. Cunningham, who calls Powell his mentor, took over the duties in Powell’s later years after playing for him.
“It was funny,” Cunningham said. “I haven’t played baseball since 2005. I got this email and letter saying I was going to be inducted to the Hall of Fame. I started telling everyone about it and that’s when they started asking if I had played baseball.”
Cunningham spent 1 1/2 decades — including nine years as a player-manager — in the Blue Ridge Adult League. He stopped playing because of an injured shoulder and his football coaching duties, which have become a year-round responsibility.
It’s all been a huge part of Cunningham’s life. In some ways, it has defined his family.
“My daughter was born during a football game,” he said with a smile. “My son was born during a Braves game. They were both wins.”
Through it all, Cunningham balanced both duties. The reason for football is obvious. The reason for the Braves is more traditional.
“Hagerstown is known as a baseball town,” Cunningham said.
Cunningham reminisced about how the Braves were considered one of the classiest teams over the years. They were a team that got invites to various tournaments and had out-of-area teams waiting in line to play in Hagerstown because of Municipal Stadium.
Times have changed. Now the Braves play on high school fields and the team has moved from the Blue Ridge League into the West Shore Twilight Baseball League.
“A lot of people have forgotten about the Braves,” Cunningham said. “With the economy taking a turn and a number of players heading down the road to play, it was tough to get games. The Braves weren’t getting enough games to help the young players keep their skills sharp.”
Cunningham’s trip with the Braves and to the Hall of Fame was all because of Powell. He saw something in Cunningham and current Braves manager Mike Kipe to keep the Braves spirit alive.
“Reno was so passionate. You couldn’t help but to learn the game from him,” Cunningham said. “The biggest thing was loyalty. He instilled loyalty. We did things the Reno way. That was the right way. Some of my best memories come from playing with the Braves.”
The Braves were a brotherhood filled with special relationships. Cunningham said he looked up a couple of years ago and realized that every public school head baseball coach in the county had played with or for him with the Braves.
“It was kind of weird. It kind of dated me a bit,” Cunningham said. “But all of us played together.
“I was passionate about what I did. Sometimes I was too aggressive, but it was because I wanted to win. I didn’t want to let Reno down. We did it right for Reno and because of Hagerstown’s reputation as a baseball town.”
Brunswick coach Roger Dawson recognized it all and nominated Cunningham for the Hall of Fame.
The honor is the culmination of special times for Cunningham.
“My dad raised me saying if I played sports I’d never get in trouble,” he said. “As long as I was active, I wouldn’t get in trouble. He’d show up to see me play for the Braves.
“When I was a kid, my dad spent hours with me. Now he is doing the same thing with my kids.”
From there, Cunningham was on the right path to meet the right people en route to going to the Hall of Fame.
“I guess I did something nice along the way,” Cunningham said. “I spent time and worked with (former North coach) Dave Warrenfeltz and (late North coach) Chuck Zonis. It just gets to you. They all taught me the drive and desire to play. But the best part is that I’ll be in the same place with Reno. That means a lot to me.”
LOOKING FOR BRAVES ALUMNI
BRAVES JOIN WEST SHORE TWILIGHT BASEBALL LEAGUE
November 4, 2013
On a unanimous vote, the Hagerstown Braves proposal to join the West Shore Twilight Baseball League was accepted. Since the Braves began play in 1977, they were always a member of the Franklin County League or the Blue Ridge League, which spun off from the Franklin County League. This change will allow the team to double the playing schedule, providing more opportunities for the tri-state area's best baseball talent to play during the summer. The West Shore League contains 9 other teams from the Chambersburg, Carlisle, and Harrisburg area. Check out the West Shore Twilight Baseball League website.
POWELL'S BRAVE WORK EARNS HALL INDUCTION
by Bob Parasiliti (The Herald-Mail)
Reno Powell was baseball’s version of Francis Scott Key. His main anthem in life was to have a home for the Braves. The Hagerstown Braves, that is. Baseball was Powell’s life, especially when it came to providing a team to give young players in the area a life after American Legion baseball. That led to the birth of the Braves, a semi-pro baseball team which has lasted more than three decades.
BRAVES 1,000TH WIN
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