Farewell to the boys of summer
Published 9:57 pm Wednesday, August 1, 2001
In Atmore, baseball season has come to a close and what a season it was. Hundreds of children were able to lace up their cleats, oil their gloves and step on to a field to experience one of America's truest traditions of sportsmanship and leisure.
While not all the teams can brag about an undefeated season, or even a winning season, in the hearts and minds of the families and the community, each and every child who gives baseball the old college try is a winner.
The final game of the season was played Tuesday with Atmore's 16-18-year-old state champions falling in the third round of the Southeast Regional Tournament. This team, made up of athletes from all three of the surrounding high schools, deserve praise not just for their accomplishments on the field n but for being first class representatives of their hometown and families.
The leader of this group, Steve McGill, combined his love of the game and his passion for students to help a group of young men reach new heights. McGill, a member of the Escambia County School Board, proved to his players, and anyone else paying attention, what can be acheived through teamwork.
Throughout this season, while kids were running bases and shagging fly balls, there was always someone behind the scenes making their games and practices possible.
As the head of Atmore's youth baseball programs, Murray Johnson puts in as many hours working on baseball as he does his own job. His work should be applauded. We at The Advance give him a personal thanks for supplying us with stats and other information throughout the season.
What would a ball game be without parents. They love their kids and hate the umpires. Without the encouragement they give to these younger versions of Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn, the future of the game would be at great risk. But, don't let that encouragement end because the final out has been called. Get out their each day and play catch with your sons and throw batting practice to your daughters. The memories made in the back yard could be worth more in 20 years than any millions made on a baseball field.
It is the hope of all of us here that the season provided laughs, applause and fond memories for everyone n most especially the boys, and girls, of summer themselves.