Local/State

SwampDog's manager returns to line-up

Thursday, July 05, 2012

The manager of the Fayetteville SwampDogs is back in the starting line-up.

Darrell Handelsman spent the first half of the season at the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center recovering from serious burns he received from a gas grill explosion at the ballpark.

"This is the best medicine for me and my recovery," said Handelsman. "I can't wait to get back on the field with my family."

His family is the SwampDogs, and for a while no one was real sure when he might be back.

In May, Handlesman was severely burned in a gas grill explosion at a ball park concession stand.

As he went through weeks of painful recovery, his SwampDogs took to the field without him for the first part of the season. Last Tuesday night, he returned to the sidelines and a standing ovation from cheering fans.

He said community support has been overwhelming.

"People I barely knew are sending cards, flowers, get well things," said Handelsman. "We were bombarded with food from local church groups. I can't tell you how many people were praying for us."

A big reason for all that love and support is the team's involvement in the community.

Team owner Lew Handlesman said it more than just about baseball.

"I think it's true community spirit that people have," said Lew. "Having gone through something like this you get a sense they really understand what it's all about and how compassionate people are here."

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cumberland county, local/state, greg barnes
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