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Home-run derby to introduce first trophies

Bill Beckner Jr.
| Friday, July 25, 2003

FREEPORT: The first trophies in the history of the Freeport International Baseball Invitational will be handed out today during the first Allegheny-Kiski Health Foundation Home Run Derby at James Swartz Memorial Field.

The event, which will begin at 6 p.m., will feature a 20-player field. Each player will get 10 outs.

Three trophies will be awarded.

Awards have not been given out in the International in the past due to its non-competitive nature.

Players and coaches could be heard trash-talking -- albeit mild and comical -- Thursday before the annual Old-Timer's Game.

"We had a guy hit two homers in a game," one coach said. "I wish we would have entered him in the derby."

Deloplaine sidelined

Former Steelers running back Jack Deloplaine was hoping to play in the Old-Timer's Game Thursday, but some complications with a recent root canal had him taking things slow.

"If I could play, I would," Deloplaine said. "It's nice to be here, though."

Deloplaine showed some fans his 1978 Super Bowl ring.

Other celebrities in attendance included Major League Baseabll scout Dave Rettig, NFL head linesman Tom Stabile, former Steelers linebacker Robin Cole, former MLB head of umpires Ed Vargo.

Bats arrive

The bats mailed to International teams from the Pirates arrived minutes before the start of the Old-Timer's festivities.

Ralph "Sonny" Westerman, his son Mike and International president Chuck Sarver helped pass out the bats, which were giveaway items at Sunday's Pirates-Brewers game at PNC Park.

Puerto Rico, Japan and The Netherlands attended the game, and International organizers worked out a plan with the Pirates to have 80 bats mailed to Freeport.

Civil War game canceled

International organizers chose to cancel the Civil War re-enactment game set for Thursday evening.

The move allowed more games to take place at Swartz Field. The games were rain-outs from previous days.

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