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14th Annual Grand Slam Parade Steps Off Wednesday, August 15

An appearance by the Hall-of-Fame baseball player, Ozzie Smith and the inclusion of more music and bands than ever, are among the highlights of this year’s 14th Annual Grand Slam Parade, which will step off promptly at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 15. This event has become the traditional kick-off to the annual Little League World Series festivities.

The Grand Marshall for this year’s Grand Slam Parade is former St. Louis Cardinals and Hall of Fame Shortstop Ozzie Smith. Smith retired in 1996, the same year the Cardinals retired his number, and in his 19 seasons, he compiled a .262 batting average, 2,460 hits, 580 stolen bases, and was named to 15 All-Star teams. Smith set the following major league records for his position: most assists (8,375), most double plays (1,590), most total chances accepted (12,624), most years with 500 or more assists eight (8) and most years leading the league in assists and chances accepted eight (8).

Smith went into the Hall of Fame wearing the cap of the St. Louis Cardinals for whom he played 15 years. He started his career with the San Diego Padres where he played his first four years in baseball. Smith was an integral part of the 1982 Cardinals team that won the World Series that year.

Prior to serving as the Grand Marshal for the parade, Smith will be speaking to all of the players and coaches at the annual pre-parade picnic hosted by Penn College. He will also be the guest of honor for the Grand Slam Breakfast on August 16 and, later that morning, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the 72nd Annual Little League World Series. The Liberty Group is sponsoring his appearance at the Grand Slam Parade. UPMC Health Plan is presenting the Grand Slam Breakfast.

“This year we have the most bands participating in the event, with 11 high school bands, three string bands, two local bands (Repasz and Billtown Blues) and one drum corps. The drum corps will lead off the parade,” Jason Fink, Executive Director of the Lycoming County Visitors Bureau, told Webb Weekly. “They are the White Sabres out of Dansville, NY and are a 140 member corps. Muncy Bank and Trust are underwriting their appearance.

“We also have a number of other new entries this year that should be exciting for people to see. A number of groups will be putting countless hours into developing their entries. We strongly encourage people to come out and watch the parade and enjoy the handiwork that went into many of these entries,” Fink continued.

He added, “This event doesn’t occur without volunteers, and we want to recognize the parade planning committee that has been meeting for nearly a year in developing this year’s parade. In addition, we want to thank the day of parade volunteers who come out to help us make this the quality event that it has become in welcoming the world to the Little League World Series.”

This year’s planning committee for the Grand Slam Parade is Carole Smith, Dwain English, Michael Seitzer, Chip Plankenhorn, Jeanette Kirkpatrick, Lou Hunsinger Sr., Lou Hunsinger Jr., and Heather Garrison.

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