End of February and already spring-like temperatures, it must mean baseball.
I’m following our county teams as they continue their post-season runs on the basketball court, and that’s a high priority right now, but at the same time I’m looking foward to some baseball.
Baseball and I go way back. I developed the love for the game as a child. I grew up loving sports. And my baseball training began pretty much on my own.
We had some concrete steps beside a water pump house in our yard out in the country. I would constantly toss the baseball against those steps and when it ricocheted back I would field the grounders or catch the pop-ups.
I talked my mother into letting me play Little League baseball. And she agreed, even though she worked a full-time job and had no idea how I would get back and forth to practice and games.
But we made it work. At times I would ride my small Honda motorcycle about 15 miles along the backroads to and from the ball fields in Hamilton, Ala.
All my memories of playing baseball – as a child and later in high school – are great ones.
I started playing infield at about age 12. Most of the time, it was third base. A third baseman has to have quick reflexes. A hard hit ball is to the third baseman fast, really fast.
When I told my high school coach about those concrete steps, he said, “That’s probably why I have you at third base.”
Sign-up is underway in our Marshall County municipalities right now for the upcoming Dizzy Dean baseball season.
Holly Springs, Byhalia and Potts Camp are trying to get registration completed by March 1 so organizers can put the players on teams, and the teams can start practices and then begin games.
I’ve written this many times before, but the countywide Dizzy Dean league is one of the best things happening in Marshall County. And I think it needs more support from everyone.
As a county, we all need to help it grow. We need to continue to improve our facilities and provide the best recreational opportunities for our children.
The children are learning baseball. They’re members of a team – learning how to work together for the common good. They’re getting outside, getting exercise, enjoying the sunshine, and most importantly, they’re having fun.
For more information, in Byhalia, contact Janice Wagg, 901-246-8843, or Penny Waldrop, 662-274-1174. In Holly Springs, contact Travis Isom (901-596-5665) or Sanchez Blake (662-544-4177). In Potts Camp, contact Blake Clifton at 662-278-9284.
And coaches and umpires are needed, too.
While in college, I started coaching a Little League team in my hometown. I kept that up for years, and those, too, are some of the best memories ever.
Recently I reconnected with a good friend in Fulton whom I coached with while living there five years. We reminisced, and I even shared a few old photos I had in my memory box.