Breeding Success

Published 11:14 am Monday, June 27, 2005

By By Tim Cottrell
(Editor's note: This is the fifth in a ten-week series of candid interviews with head coaches of Atmore Cal Ripken and Babe Ruth baseball teams. The interviews will appear each Sunday)
Youth baseball has taken many hits over the years. From children who don't get to play to adults causing problems in the stands, many Americans have been left with a negative image of youth baseball in this country.
Todd Vickrey, however, is one man who would like to change that.
Vickrey, who coached the Joey's Furniture Red Sox to a 7-7 record during Cal Ripken baseball and is now managing the Atmore 10-year-old All-Stars, said he hoped to make baseball fun again.
"I'm in it for the kids," he said. "I just want them to have fun. We played 14 games during the season, and all 13 of my players got in every game. They may not have gotten in as much as they wanted to, but everyone got to play. And same thing tonight (Thursday night, following Atmore's loss to Semmes II), we had 12 players and every one of them played."
During the day-time, Vickrey runs his own business, Vickrey's Timberlands. The forestry-oriented business is involved in contract cruising, timber marking, spraying, and planting. Vickrey and his wife, Dana, have two sons, Cody, 14, and Clayton, 10, who is on the 10-year-old All-Star team.
After graduating from Escambia County High School, Vickrey went on to Alabama Southern Community College (at the time known as Patrick Henry Community College) on a baseball scholarship. Injuries derailed his baseball career, so he earned his associate's degree in Forestry and came back to Atmore to begin his own business.
Vickrey said that his two sons have gotten him involved in coaching, but teaching young men has been the most enjoyable aspect.
"I enjoy it," Vickrey said. "I got out of it for a while and worked with my two boys on my own. But I got back in it this year. I just like to teach good fundamental baseball. For them to go on anywhere they need to know the fundamentals."
When not coaching young men or working, Vickrey still enjoys being in nature. He lists his hobbies as hunting and fishing. He also has started a kennel, where he is raising pointing labs.
"That's about like coaching little league," Vickrey laughed, "raising that many dogs at one time."
Vickrey said one of his goals was to help youth baseball grow in the Atmore area.
"If these kids come out here and have fun, hopefully they'll tell their friends," he said. "And hopefully their friends will start participating and the organization will grow. The numbers are down. Ten years from now who's going to remember who won or lost a regular season game? If they come out here and have fun they'll remember that a lot more, and learn some important lessons."

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox