By Hilary Hilton
Hitting a home run is an accomplishment many baseball players dream of but a mere few ever achieve.
Seventeen-year-old Charlie Maslin of Huntsville is still riding the high of this rare achievement after he hit an over-the-fence home run at the first game of the 2022 season on July 4 at Kerr Park in Bracebridge.
Maslin plays for the Muskoka Hornets Baseball Association, which is a competitive baseball league created in 2009 and operated by a ten-person volunteer Board of Directors and encompasses players from the entire Muskoka region.
Shelley Westgarth, the owner of Belly Ice Cream, where Maslin works for the summers, gifted Maslin a banana split for his home run as a symbol of his once-in-a-lifetime feat.
Westgarth, whose son is also on the Muskoka Hornets, has been a huge supporter of the team for years and has always had the stipulation that anyone that gets a home run will receive a banana split.
“I started offering this when they were in house league, when they were eight,” Westgarth says. “Whenever there was a big hitter and I thought maybe we were getting close [to a home run], I would yell ‘banana split!’”
Maslin has played for the Muskoka Hornets every season—which lasts from mid-April to mid-August—since he was eight years old. He said this will be his last season playing baseball before he goes off to other endeavours. Maslin’s first and only home run is a fitting ending to his baseball career.
“It was just a relief, really,” Maslin says. “I’ve always wanted to hit a home run. So I just thought ‘I’m okay, I can quit now.’ It’s not gonna get much better than that.”
Muskoka Hornets’ home games are located in Bracebridge and away games include locations such as Markham, Vaughn, London, and Toronto. Maslin has also played for the Muskoka Outlaws Baseball Academy during the Hornets’ off-seasons.
Maslin’s home run was the first of his age group and he is the first recipient of the Belly Ice Cream banana split home run award.
Belly Ice Cream, located at 88-90 West Rd in Huntsville, offers hand-crafted artisan ice cream created on-site with all-natural and locally sourced ingredients.
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