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2015 Honor Roll Inductee: John Gambs, East Metro (GA) Baseball League

By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

John Gambs is the 71 year old president of the East Metro Baseball League located in Covington, Georgia.  John grew up in upstate New York and his life journey took him to Atlanta, where in 1996 he saw an ad to play baseball.  His wife urged him to contact the Atlanta MSBL and he has been involved ever since.

For all of John’s hard work and passion under the MSBL umbrella he is now being honored by MSBL Founder and President Steve Sigler as the newest inductee of the 2015 class of the MSBL Honor Roll.  "I used to dive for golf balls for many years until 1995,” said Gambs. "My wife saw an article in the paper about the Atlanta MSBL I was hooked from day one and worked hard to get back into competitive shape.”

At the age of 71, how much playing time is now afforded to go along with the presidential duties?  "I still play a little first base and get some occasional cuts at the plate but not too much anymore,” explained Gambs.  "I still play in the 35 and 45 divisions so it gets pretty challenging.”

John has come full circle from those days of diving for golf balls back in 1995. "I am a former PH.D mental health counselor and along with that about 25 years ago I started the golf ball recovery business,” said Gambs.  "Now it has become my full time job.”

The East Metro Baseball League is a close-knit league tucked in the middle of Braves country.  "We are a relatively small league with only eleven teams and most of the guys know each other,” added Gambs.  "We are a very close bunch of guys who have known each other for years and we all get along.”  They usually don’t travel to national MSBL tournaments but they are still active in tournament play.  "I’ve put a team in the Atlanta Memorial Day tournament for three years in a row but we have missed the last couple of years, but we’ll be back.”

One of the teams in his league, the River Rats, have competed in national tournaments but their main distinction is in the unbelievable string of victories in the league.  "The River Rats hold the MSBL record for consecutive wins with 82, including pre-season and playoffs,” said Gambs.  "This took place between 2009 and 2012 and was confirmed as a record by Steve Sigler.”

John’s young baseball resume in New York is a familiar one.  "I played Little League, Pony League and lettered in high school as a pitcher and first baseman,” said Gambs.  "Growing up in upstate New York allowed me to see the Yankees in the 50’s.  Mickey Mantle is my favorite player of all time.  I saw him play at Yankee Stadium in 1953 when he homered, doubled, walked twice and then threw out a runner at home from center field.  He could also run like the wind back then.”

John’s playing days eventually drove him to the helm of the EMBL.  "I started the East Metro Baseball League in 2003 and am proud that it is still going strong in 2015,” Gambs told us.  "I promised Steve Rosenburg, my mentor, that I was going to run the league for 20 years and I will make sure that I fulfill that. We’ve been going at in now for 13. We’ll get there.”

In conclusion, John wanted to add a comment about the organization that has presented him with the chance to get back into the game he loves.  "I am proud to be a part of the excellent MSBL organization.  I feel that Steve Sigler and the entire staff is always there when you need them.”

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