Babe Ruth of Maryland Slow Pitch Softball
John Copenhaver is a legendary figure in the Southwest Baltimore community where he grew up. An accomplished hockey and basketball player, his softball career began at the age of 14, playing for his father’s bar in Saturday beer leagues. The younger kids in the neighborhood would catch rides to go watch him play and, after the games, would wait for him, hoping that he would join their pickup games on Wilkens Playground.
From 1970 thru 1976, John played for Smiley’s. When the Baltimore “AA” Slow Pitch League began in 1973, John was highly recruited but elected to stay with Smiley’s, perennially a top finisher in any Class A event. They captured the Class A State Tournament in 1975; John was the MVP. In 1977, John played for the Balimore Monuments in the Professional Slow Pitch Softball League and was named All League Third Baseman. When the professional league folded after the 1978 season, John continued to play softball through 1986, for teams such as H&S Distributors, Wilkens House, Smiley’s, Joe Theisman’s and John Hansens. He was also recruited to play on tournament teams both locally and across the country. He has received an untold number of All Tournament
and MVP awards playing at the highest level.
In softball discussions, people describe with wonder some of his memorable home run blasts. In the eyes of many, John is the Babe Ruth of Maryland Slow Pitch Softball.