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John Gambs: 2016 MSBL Hall of Fame Inductee

By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications

John Gambs is the 72 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 2016 class of the MSBL Hall of Fame.  "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 and I was hooked from day one and worked hard to get back into competitive shape.”

The East Metro Baseball League was started by John in 2003 and John made a promise to his Atlanta MSBL mentor Steve Rosenburg, who passed away in 2006.  "I promised Rosey that I would run the league for 20 years,” explained Gambs.  "We got cancer the same year and here I am 11 years later still a survivor.  I am amazed and thankful that I am still alive. I attribute baseball as one of the factors that keeps me going and am still shooting toward fulfilling my 20 year promise.  We’ll get there.”

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 nine 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.”

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. They also just captured their seventh 18+ division title in a row in 2016.  They are quite a story down here.”

John doesn’t step on the field to play too much anymore but his passion for baseball and the East Metro Baseball League is still intense.  "I am thrilled to receive this award.  I really am. It means that keeping our league together 14 years also honors the coaches, scorekeepers and high school coaches who have stayed with us.  We still have 20 or 30 charter members from 2003 lacing them up every week.  I couldn’t wait to tell them about this award because it is for all of us.”  John concluded, "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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