Tag: College Baseball

In Search of Black Baseball Players

By Michael July 12, 2019 0

The 15th annual MVP (Mentoring Viable Prospects) Baseball Classic got underway with a bang in Dekalb County, Georgia on Thursday, July 11, 2019, at the Georgia State University Baseball Complex.

MVP has become a gateway to collegiate baseball scholarships and professional baseball contracts for Black athletes throughout the country. read more

Landscaper Lands Baseball Contract With Texas Rangers At MVP Tourney

By Michael July 22, 2018 0

It was the third and final day of the MVP Baseball Tournament at Georgia State University Baseball Stadium. Brandon Baker, working as a landscaper for the premiere showcase for Black high school baseball players in North Georgia, had no idea that fate would call his number before the tournament ended.

As the day began, clouds formed in the sky, the air smelled like they contained rain. Baker, a 23 year old grounds keeper at the park knew how important the MVP  showcase is to the ball players.

Five years ago, Baker, a left handed pitcher out of Redan High School in Decatur, Georgia had been one of the young men on the field. He had hopes of landing a Division 1 baseball scholarship or a professional baseball contract. The University of Missouri, not exactly a hot bed of baseball in the Southeastern Conference, offered him a scholarship.

Baker was happy with his choice, but when he arrived at Missouri, he learned the pitching coach who had recruited him resigned to take another position. The head coach assumed the pitching coaches duties. In a pinch, he took the safe route and went with his juniors and seniors. Baker was lost in the scuffle.

He withdrew from Missouri and enrolled into Georgia State University. After sitting out a year as required by NCAA rules, Baker contributed to the GSU baseball program.  This past season he pitched 40 innings, striking out 45 batters on his way to a 4-3 record.

Last year he earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Risk Management. With one year of baseball eligibility remaining, Baker enrolled in a Master’s Program in International Business.

To pay for his masters education, Baker took a job as a landscaper. One of his duties required him to prepare the GSU baseball field for the MVP Tournament.

Like many young men who dream of playing professional baseball, Baker clung to his dream. In spite of a good strike out to innings pitched ratio he did not hear his name called during the 2018 June Baseball Draft.

“I was disappointed,” he said.

Now his immediate dream turned to finishing up his master’s studies, then landing a job as a pitcher in an Independent League next year.

During the tournament, Baker went about his chores of preparing the field of dreams at GSU for a new crop of youngsters dreaming that dream of forever being one of the “Boys of Summer.”

On day three, he had the bright idea and the courage to walk up to Clarence Johns, the Cross Checker for the Texas Rangers scouting department and ask for a try-out on the spot. Each year Jones brings a team to Atlanta to compete in the MVP Tournament. Also, he assists the MVP organizational board with planning ideas.

“All he could say was no,” Baker said.

Johns huddled with MVP President Greg “Goody” Goodwin and asked if he could hold a brief try out for Baker. “Goody” had watched Baker grow into manhood and had observed him mature as a baseball player. He freed up the left field bullpen for Baker and a catcher to throw between games.

Then Johns assembled scouts from the Atlanta Braves, Colorado Rockies, San Diego Padres and the Minnesota Twins to come and observe Baker pitch.

Baker was preparing the field for the next game when he got the call to drop his rake and to bring a glove for a bullpen session in front of the assembled scouts. He sauntered pass Hank Aaron, Jr., Jack Powell and Clarence Johns who had their radar guns at the ready. They wanted to see if the landscaper could hit the 90 mph mark with his fast ball.

Baker did not disappoint. His fastball consistently hit the 89-93 mark. When the session was over, “Goody” yelled at Baker that he needed to rack the batter’s box and line it off for the next game. Baker trotted back towards home plate and picked up his rake, after all, he had to pay for his master’s education.

As a cross checker, Johns has an advantage over the scouts. While scouts have to submit their findings to the player development department, Johns has the power to make a decision on the spot.

After Baker completed his landscaper work around home plate, Johnss took him aside and offered him a free agent contract to play baseball with the Texas Rangers. On Monday, Baker will graduate from GSU with a master’s degree and on Tuesday he will leave for the Arizona Instructional League.

When “Goody” Goodwin learned Baker had been extended a contract with the Rangers, tears flowed uncontrollably from his eyes.

“This is why I volunteer my time, it’s about helping these kids reach their dream,” he said between sobs.

“It’s a good feeling. He really deserves it. Of all the kids I’ve coached, Brandon is one of the ones who really deserves it,” Harry Sapp, who coached Baker in high school said when he learned the news.

“To come out here and work the grounds everyday as a landscaper, after what he experienced at Missouri, to come back home, sit out a year and work hard at GSU, I think it is a credit to his humble nature and hard work ethic,” Marquez Denmon, the Public Address Announcer for MVP said.

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist. He is a Contributor at The Hill, SCLC National Magazine, Southern Changes Magazine and Black College Nines. He can be contacted at hmharvey@haroldmichaelharvey.com

 

 

 

 

Andres Castillo Grambling Catcher Dies in Fatal Accident

By Michael June 29, 2017 0

Andres Castillo described as the life of the Grambling clubhouse by players and coaches was involved in a tragic motorcycle accident on June 23 in Tampa, Florida. Castillo played catcher for the Tigers during the 2015 baseball season. He had previously played collegiately at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas and prior to that he played at Wasbash Valley College in Mount Carmel,Illinois.

“He was a great teammate,” said Wesley Drain a teammate of Castillo at both Wasbash and Grambling.

“He was never quite. He was always talking, joking and dancing,” Drain added.

“Hearing about the news about Castillo just broke me and Coach Cooper’s heart,” said Grambling Head Baseball Coach Davin Pierre.

“We have had to deal with a lot of difficult moments in our coaching tenure at Grambling State, but this is by far one of the toughest things we have had to deal with, “Pierre said.

Coach Pierre echoed Drains sentiments about the character of Castillo.

“Andres was a pure joy to Coach and he was even better person to be around. He had a personality that would capture a room and just bring life to everyone around him.

“You could walk into the clubhouse a bit down and Andres would be playing Spanish music and all of a sudden, you are partying and joking around with him,” Drain said.

Drain added, “He was a hit on campus, everybody loved him, he wore bright cloths and just created a spark whenever he was around.”

Drain’s father Adolphus recall several years ago when Castillo and several other Latino players attending Wasbash Junior College were stranded at the Atlanta airport during a snowstorm on their way back to school following Christmas break. Wesley had already made it back to Wasbash ahead of the storm, so Adolphus Drain braved the bad roads and went out to the airport to get Castillo and his teammates. They spent several days in the Drain home waiting on the weather to improve so they could continue their flight.

“He was a joy to have in my home. He would bless the dinner table in Spanish. I’m not sure what he was saying, but they sounded like the most beautiful prayers you would ever want to hear. I loved him like a son,” Adolphus Drain said.

Castillo had a promising future in major league baseball until an accident on the baseball field shattered his catching hand. When the motorcycle mishap occurred he was back home in Tampa enjoying life and bringing enjoyment to the people around him.

Wesley and his mom India, along with Coaches Pierre and Cooper represented the Grambling and Wasbash families at Castillo’s services.

“He was a polished 22 year old young man. He will be missed and he was loved by the Grambling family and his teammates. Andres Castillo will forever be a Grambling Tiger,” Pierre said.”

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist. He is a Contributor at The Hill, SCLC National Magazine and Black College Nines. He can be contacted at hmharvey@haroldmichaelharvey.com

Tuskegee Drops Two to Eastern New Mexico

By Michael February 14, 2017 0

The Tuskegee University Golden Tigers began a 9 game road trip at the Home Plate facility in Peachtree City, Georgia against Eastern New Mexico State University. Tuskegee came into the game with a 5-2 record in the early season, while Eastern New Mexico is off to a 7-1 start. The teams played two games under sunny skies on Monday, February 13, 2017.

Eastern New Mexico swept both games winning the first contest 7-3 behind a seven hit-eight strikeout pitching performance from Enrique Perez. After the Golden Tigers drew first blood in the first on a double in the right center field gap from sophomore catcher Matthew Reed, Eastern New Mexico took a 3-1 lead in their half of the first with back to back home runs from Andrew Stubbs and Mike McNicholl.

The Greyhounds scored a run in the second to go up 4-1 and Tuskegee came roaring back picking up 2 runs in the third on a double to left by Jalen Luther and a single to left off the bat of Joe Mauldin. The Game stayed closed until the sixth when the Greyhounds scored 3 unearned runs on one hit and an error. Eugene Mabota pitched 7 strong innings for the Golden Tigers giving up 3 earned runs on 5 hits. He struck out two Greyhounds.

In the nightcap, Eastern New Mexico limited the Golden Tigers to 5 hits behind the pitching duo of Nick DeArmond and Victor Persad. DeArmond gave up a home run to Jalen Luter in the first inning and shut Tuskegee out after that until giving way to Persad in the 5th inning. Persad gave up one hit and struck out three.

Tuskegee moves to 5-4 on the season and Eastern New Mexico improves to 9-1.

Following the double-hitter, Tuskegee’s first year coach, Reginald Hollins said that he likes the progress of his young team and that the early games have been a learning experience for the players and for the coaching staff.

Hollins plans to shake up his infield to cut down on errors which have plagued the team in the early going.

SOURCES:

http://www.readysetregister.com/Pages/series_coaching_staff.php?de=291

http://blackcollegenines.com/

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist, the author of Paper puzzle and Justice in the Round, Easier to obtain Than to Maintain: The Globalization of Civil Rights by Charles Steele, Jr.; and the host of Beyond the Law with Harold Michael Harvey. He can be contacted at haroldmichaelharvey.com.

 

Tuskegee Baseball Team off to fast start

By Michael February 7, 2017 0

The Tuskegee University Golden Tigers baseball team is off to a fast start, They started the 2017 season by sweeping Selma University, a perennial independent powerhouse, 11-4 and 15-5 in a double-hitter on February 3. Tuskegee pounded out 11 hits and was led by a two home run performance from Ricky Green, who drove in 4 runs.

Unlike previous years, the Golden Tigers Baseball team is off to a fast start. Tuskegee typically starts slow before making a run for the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (S.I.A.C.) Championship.

In the first game of the season, Tuskegee had four players to get at least two hits. In addition to Green, they were, Jalen Luter who went 2-3 with a double and 3 RBIs, Matthew Reed 2-4 with a double and 1 RBI, and Gemini Jackson who went 2-3 and scored 1 run. Green was joined in the home run derby by Joseph Mauldin.  Trey Nelson went the distance for Tuskegee picking up his first win of the season. He held the Selma Bulldogs to 4 runs on 10 hits. The fleet footed Golden Tigers swiped 3 bases.

In the second game, Tuskegee put 9 runs on the board in the first inning and never looked back. They exploded for 10 hits and were again led by Ricky Green, who hit his third home run of the young season. Green went 2-2 and drove in 2 runs. Ryan Green, no relations to Ricky, chipped in 3 hits in 3 at bats. The Westlake High grad from College Park, Georgia, drove in 2 runs and scored 2 runs. Eugene Mabota pitched five strong innings and picked up his first win.

The following day, the Golden Tigers split a pair with Clark-Atlanta University dropping the first game 6-5 as Clark-Atlanta scored an unearned run in the bottom of the seventh inning to win the game. Travias Hylton homered to left field in the game. Jalen Luter went 2-4 and drove in 2 runs.

In the second game, Tuskegee shut out Clark-Atlanta 10-0 behind a one-hitter tossed by Joseph Mauldin, who struck out 17 of the 22 batters he faced in the seven inning ball game. The senior flame thrower from Lancaster, California matched his personal best single game strike out mark, which he set against Lane College last season. Ricky Green, a power-hitter from Tampa, Florida continued on his torrid hitting pace going 3-4 and driving in 3 runs. Lane Williams went yard for his first homer of the season.

First year Head Coach Reginald Hollins said of his team’s quick start, “I feel that the guys have gotten off to a great start offensively and on the bump.”

Defensively the Golden Tigers have committed 10 errors in the first four games. Hollins said, “We have some things to clean up defensively, but we are a young team that competes and soaks up knowledge each and every inning.”

Hollins has to be pleased with his team’s work on the bases. His base runners have racked up 10 stolen bases in 11 attempts.

“I am glad to get my guys some experience and much needed at bats,” Hollins said assessing his team’s fast start.

SOURCES:

http://blackcollegenines.com/

http://www.goldentigersports.com/index.aspx?path=baseball

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist, the author of Paper puzzle and Justice in the Round, Easier to obtain Than to Maintain: The Globalization of Civil Rights by Charles Steele, Jr.; and the host of Beyond the Law with Harold Michael Harvey. He can be contacted at haroldmichaelharvey.com.

 

Tuskegee Hosts First Baseball Alumni Classic

By Michael October 23, 2016 0

Tuskegee Institute, Alabama Tuskegee University under the leadership of first year Head Baseball Coach Reggie Hollins hosted its first Tuskegee University Alumni Baseball Classic, October 21, 2016, during the homecoming festivities at the historic university in East Alabama.

Hollins, a 2010 graduate of Tuskegee University, where he starred as a middle infielder for the Golden Tigers, took over the helm of the Tuskegee program this summer from Montressa Kirby, who had been doubling as the quarterback coach on the highly rated Tuskegee football team since 2009.

The move freed Kirby to concentrate on his role as quarterback coach. Hollins, a product of Benjamin E. Mays High School in Atlanta, Georgia, wasted little time in getting his program off to a roaring start.  He organized the first ever Alumni Baseball Classic and brought together former players from 1969 through 2015 to give his current players an opportunity to talk with the athletes who had made the Tuskegee Baseball Program one of the top programs in the nation in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

About 150 fans in town for Tuskegee’s 135th homecoming, turned out to watch the current team compete against the old-timers on James Washington Field. The baseball park on campus is named for the school’s first baseball coach and brother of the school’s first principle, the legendary educator, Booker T. Washington. Washington field was laid out in 1894 by its namesake and William Clarence Matthews, the university’s first shortstop and a 2013 inductee into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame.

The Tuskegee team currently plays its home games in a former minor league ball park in Montgomery, Alabama. President Brian L. Johnson dropped by the game and pledged his support for bringing baseball back to campus by making improvements to the field and building a state of the art baseball facility.

“I can get it done with $700,000; we could do a little more if we had a million dollars. We are going to bring baseball back to Washington Field,” Johnson said.

In recent years, the Tuskegee baseball program has not exhibited the caliber of play of previous generations. Coach Hollins said he wanted to bring current players into contact with baseball alumni who had set a high standard for Tuskegee baseball.

“Look around you,” Coach Hollins told his current team and alumni players following the game. “I planned this game so the current players could get to see the alumni and so that the alumni could get to see the current Golden Tigers. These are some good young men, doing the right things, now that you have seen them, I hope you will get involved and support what we are doing in Tuskegee baseball,” Hollins said.

Indeed, it was an excellent opportunity for the current players to talk with alumni about things other than baseball. One current player, Ryan Green, a junior from Westlake High School, in the metro Atlanta area, wanted to know how he could parlay his Engineering Degree from Tuskegee into a career as a lawyer.

Green, the team’s right fielder posed the question to a 1971-73 Tuskegee right fielder, a retired lawyer. It was suggested to him that he could practice construction law. You could see a light bulb go off inside his head. The two men agreed to keep in contact as Green pursues his career goals.

The game was won by the current Golden Tigers 9-4. Coach Hollins said he is pleased with the progress of his team thus far in fall practice. He said that his catcher Ron McGee played particularly well in the Alumni Classic. McGee threw out three base runners.

The old-timers Most Valuable Player was the designated hitter. He went 2 for 2, with one stolen base, two runs scored and one RBI. The designated hitter just happens to be the person whose words you are reading.  Joe Colvin from the 1972 team drove in one run and Stephen Duval from the 1973 SIAC Championship team scored on a bases loaded walk.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0siTZMkBTx7RjhmMTgtX2FiblU/view. Click the link to view Harvey’s bases loaded blast to left center.

In addition to being the conference champions, the ’73 team beat the SIAC All-Stars 2-1 in old Herndon Stadium in Atlanta. This was the only All-Star game in SIAC history. They went on to compete in the NCAA Mid-East Regional Tournament.

The oldest alumni playing in the Tuskegee Baseball Classic were 66 year old Joe Colvin, 66 year old Stephen Duval, 65 year old Harold Michael Harvey, 65 year old Richard “Buck” Shaw, the university’s first Major League Baseball draftee (St. Louis Cardinals) and 63 year old McArthur “Spook” Shivers.

Hollins said he plans to make the alumni classic an annual event.

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist, the author of Paper puzzle and Justice in the Round; and the host of Beyond the Law with Harold Michael Harvey. He can be contacted at haroldmichaelharvey.com.

 

The Day A Fan Thought I was Willie Mays

By Michael July 4, 2016 0

Willie Mays, I am not. I had almost forgotten the day a baseball fan thought I was Willie Mays. I like to think that I was a good baseball player when I was in my prime, but no way as proficient with the bat, the glove or as fleet on the basepath as the “Say Hey Kid.”

What prompted this reflection is the news that the Atlanta Braves, formerly my hometown team, and the Florida Marlins played a game, the day before the 240th birthday of the United States of America. The game was played before 12,500 soldiers and their families on a ball field constructed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina just for this one game.

The boxscore is not what is important or to be remembered from this game. The fact that Major League Baseball devoted the time and the resources to bring a regular season game, that will count in the standings, to the men and women who protect the homeland with little financial reward is how this game should be remembered when sports fans look at this event.

I applaud Major League Baseball, the front offices of the Braves and Marlins, the coaches and players for bringing a bit of joy into the lives of our soldiers and their families.

This leads me back to the day an obvious fan of the game thought I was Willie Mays. It happened during my second year as a collegiate baseball player. I was an outfielder for the Tuskegee Institute Golden Tigers. It was early March, 1972. The sun was out but a chill hung over the stadium. My school, Tuskegee Institute was playing Albion College. We often played predominately white universities who traveled south to play games in the early spring while their baseball diamonds thawed out from the late winters experienced in the north.

Coach James Martin penciled me in the lineup in center field to start the second game of a double-hitter. During the pregame warm-up I made a basket catch or two, to the chagrin of Coach Martin, and fired a strike from center to home plate. When I trotted off the field, I heard someone in the stands say, “Hey Willie Mays.” I had no idea the fan was talking to me.

We were playing this game, similar to the game played by the Braves and Marlins at Fort Bragg, for the benefit of military veterans who were undergoing treatment at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Tuskegee, Alabama.

Each year Coach Martin would schedule a game or two for the veterans. The hospital was built in 1923 within walking distance of the Tuskegee Institute campus, to service Black veterans who had been injured in World War I. The property was part of the 5,000 acres of land amassed by Lewis Adams and Booker T. Washington for the school at Tuskegee. Washington’s successor Robert Russo Moton, donated the land to the federal government so this hospital could be built. This was the first VA facility specifically built to care for Black servicemen who complained of not getting adequate care when they visited facilities that catered to white veterans.

Many of the servicemen at the Tuskegee VA had mental health challenges as a result of their participation in World War II. They came to the stadium in wheelchairs, some with walking canes, some assisted by a nurse. While others walked under their own power. They were excited to see a baseball game between Black and White players.

When it was nearing my time to bat, I took a 33 ounce Louisville Slugger out of the bat rack and sauntered to the on-deck circle. I took a knee, held the wooden bat in a vertical position in the palm of my right hand and leaned forward, just like I had seen Mickey Mantle do it in old Yankee Stadium.

“Hey Willie,” one veteran yelled, “hit a homerun for me!”

Now I finally get it, this fan thinks I am Willie Mays. Although, Mays would retire from the game after the World Series later that year with diminishing skills from the kid who broke into the league in 1952, I could not see how this Vet could mistake me for Mays.

“That ain’t Willie Mays,” another veteran yelled.

“You don’t know what you are talking about, that is Willie Mays,” the first Vet said.

“It can’t be,” the second Vet said, “he wearing number 39, that’s Roy Campanella.”

Then the PA announcer said, “Now in the on-deck circle is Harold Harvey from Macon, Georgia.”

“That ain’t no Harold Harvey,” the first Vet said, “that’s Willie Mays. Hit that ball out the park Willie Mays.”

“See I told you that wont no Willie Mays,” the second Vet said.

“Walking to the batter’s box is Harold Harvey,” the announcer said.

“Hit that ball out of the ball park, Willie,” the first Vet yelled!

I grounded out to third.

“That’s alright Willie, you’ll get him next time,” the first Vet shouted!

On my next at bat I drew a walk, but had a slower base runner on second base and did not get a chance to dazzle the veterans with my baserunning skills. The game was called after five innings so the teams could get to the campus cafeteria before it closed.

I did not hit that home run for the veteran who thought he was watching the great Willie Mays play baseball, but as the years pass, I look fondly on that day and the joy I brought to Black soldiers who served their country so that I could play baseball, the American pastime.

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist, the author of Paper puzzle and Justice in the Round. He can be contacted at haroldmichaelharvey.com.

SOURCES:

http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/71978/fort-bragg-game-one-to-remember-for-players-and-fans

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuskegee_Veterans_Administration_Medical_Center

Baseball, Glory, Glory, Baseball!

By Michael March 31, 2015 0

Baseball. That game of nine men pitted against nine other men which begins during the chill of early spring and ends with the thrills of a chilly autumn classic is upon us once again. I’ve always looked forward to the opening of baseball season.

Opening Day of the baseball season was a signal in my youth that the winter was over and it was time to get out of the house and move around a bit. A chance to pound your fist into the palm of your glove, spit in it and get the leather supple for the next baseball thrown or hit your way.

Baseball is more than the slides into second or third or home, grass stains on the pants in the area of the knees, or the frustration of trying to hit a 3-2 slider. Baseball is even more than the elation you felt when the ball connected with the sweet spot of the bat and the drive off your bat landed in the gap in left center field as your teammates on the bases ran home to score.

Yes, without a doubt there is something about baseball that is as eternal as the springtime, as enduring as tiny vegetation pushing itself up out of the ground reaching for the sky. I’ve been hooked on the game since a hastily organized game of stick ball after church one Sunday in the mid-1950s. I could not have been more than 5 years-old. I recall when it came my turn to bat, I took two swings at the ball and failed at each attempt. Then one of the bigger kids or adults took my last swing and when they hit the ball, I ran to first base. It was a thrill to run down the first baseline. I’ve been fascinated with the game since that Sunday afternoon.

Lately, I’ve been a baseball fan without a baseball team to root for, to cheer on to victory. To be sure there is, at least for another year, a baseball team in my hometown. They go by the name of the Atlanta Braves, but beginning in 2017, the Braves will be playing baseball up in Smyrna, Georgia. They are building a very fine facility up there and developing the community surrounding the new stadium. I can’t get over the way the Braves left the city of Atlanta without pumping any meaningful money into the economic development of the Buttermilk Bottom community that laid out the welcoming mat for them when they escaped from Milwaukee back in ’65.

I stayed up late, listening on the radio the night of their first game in Atlanta Fulton County Stadium against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Later that summer, my Mom boarded the old Nancy Hank train at the segregated depot in Macon, Georgia with my brother and I. We were headed to Atlanta to take in a game between the Braves and the San Francisco Giants.During the game I saw Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Juan Marchiel, Hank Aaron, Eddie Mathews and Warren Spann.

I’ll never forget that Saturday and Sunday series. There was a double-hitter on Saturday.All three games were won by the Giants. The Sunday game ended after Willie Mays angrily yelled at his rookie left fielder to move to a certain spot on the field. After the first two pitches the rookie failed to move into the position Mays wanted him, but gave in before the third pitch and moved to the exact position on the field Mays had told him to play. On the next pitch the batter hit the ball right where the rookie was standing. Ball game over. I left the park thinking that Willie Mays was the greatest baseball player of all time.

When I went to college, I was not recruited out of high school, so I walked onto the team at Fort Valley State College and made the team. I did not get to start, but was able to contribute to the team off the bench in critical situations.

After my freshmen year, I decided to transfer to Tuskegee Institute. Again, I was in a position of having to walk-on to make the team. I made the team and played two seasons putting up a spectacular fielding percentage of .10000, stealing 25 bases and batting .280. Last summer, I was honored to give the acceptance speech for William C. Matthews, who was inducted into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame. Matthews had played baseball at Tuskegee Institute from 1893-97.

Back in ’65, my mom taught me you could always hop onto a public conveyance and take in a baseball game in a faraway city. Since I don’t have a hometown baseball team to root onto victory, next week, when the baseball season starts, I will board a plane for a trip to Cincinnati to take in the opening game of the season between the Cincinnati Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates. I’ll hang out with my son Coley, another avid baseball fan. We will watch the opening day parade that is held in Cincinnati every year, then onto Great American Ball Park for some peanuts, cracker jacks and baseball.

Baseball, glory, glory, baseball season is here again!

 

Harold Michael Harvey, is the author of the legal thriller “Paper Puzzle,” and “Justice in the Round: Essays on the American Jury System,” available at Amazon and at haroldmichaelharvey.com. He can be contacted at hmharvey@haroldmichaelharvey.com