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Marines Visit the Wood Ducks
Webster shows Woodies how it's done
August 11, 2023

S
unday afternoon. Late July. Bob Webster stands on the pitcher’s mound in Grainger Stadium.

The catcher is nervous.

In the stands are Down East Wood Ducks loyalists, baseball fans taking in a Single-A summer game, and a small contingent from the Marine Corps League Oriental detachment. These last are cheering for Bob.

They’re also why he’s on the pitcher’s mound in the first place.

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Bob Webster mid throw at Grainger Stadium.

The detachment had rented out the Mother Earth Brewing pavilion at Grainger Stadium to watch the Wood Ducks play. The Wood Ducks don’t call themselves the ducks… they are the Woodies.

This outing had been arranged to let the oldest member – on this day, Bob Webster – throw out the first pitch.

“He is consistently in a leadership position,” said John Rahm, one of the founders of the Marine Corps League Oriental detachment. Bob is the secretary / treasurer of the group and organizes various ticket booths for the annual rifle raffle, is heavily involved in Toys for Tots, and is also part of the Pamlico County Honor Guard.

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Bob with his grandson, Wood Ducks’ mascot Dewd, and pitcher Teodoro Ortega.
Bob has also been active with the South Pamlico Volunteer Fire Department, the Rotary Club, The Coast Guard Auxiliary, and other volunteer organizations in the area.

In addition to his military service and volunteerism, Bob had been a Professor of Biochemistry (with tenure) at Duke University from 1976 – 2003.

The Marine Corps League Oriental detachment was set up to be a little less formal than most. It includes spouses and auxiliary members, and veterans from other branches of the military.

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Oriental detachment of the Marine Corps League and social club at Grainger Stadium.

Every year, they celebrate the Marine Corps birthday – November 10 – with dinner at Silos Restaurant. And bravely, that often means chipped beef (aka SOS).

They’re a very social group, says Rahm, and that’s a big part of their organization. Which is why they were in Kinston on that Sunday in July. Out on the pitchers mound, Bob Webster threw out the first ball of the game: a four seam fastball, catching the outside corner for a strike.

The Marine Corps League detachment meets on the second Wednesday of every month at Station 19 fire house. John Rahm says all are welcome to attend. Dinner is at 6p with the meeting following at 7p.


Story by Allison DeWeese and John Rahm. Photos by Raeganne Sholar.

Posted Friday August 11, 2023 by Allison DeWeese


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