Tag: Grambling Baseball

A Life-Long Dream Manifesting for Two Black College Baseball Coaches

By Michael January 20, 2022 Off

Marcus Smith and James Cooper Stepping into Their Dreams

Growing up in College Park, Georgia, Marcus Smith enjoyed playing baseball. It was a sport he excelled in, playing out of Old National Park from age six to fourteen. He earned an athletic scholarship to Albany State University, his mom’s alma mater. Like anyone who has ever played baseball as a kid, the thoughts of a professional career floated through Smith’s head. read more

Braves’ Garr-Lucas HBCU Baseball Classic Is A Hit

By Michael March 15, 2021 Off

HBCU Alumni Proud of National Spotlight

HBCU Alumni Proud of National Spotlight

Marie Duval did not attend an HBCU; she received her educational experience at a predominately white institution, Mercer University, a private Baptist-supported school in Macon, Georgia, her hometown. The other half of the Duval family, Steve Duval, attended two HBCUs, Hampton University and Tuskegee University. The Duvals traveled 150 miles to witness a rare national spotlight shine on Black college baseball. read more

Andres Castillo Grambling Catcher Dies in Fatal Accident

By Michael June 29, 2017 Off

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