4 charter boat captains grew up here

Published 5:50 pm Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Atmore can boast of four successful charter boat captains, Butch Tucker, Bill Staff Jr., Brent Shaver and Wynn Millson.

I remember each one of them when they were growing up in Atmore. They all played in our youth baseball and football programs as well as high school.

Each one of them has his own boat and I understand each boat is capable of accommodating a dozen or more anglers. Brent, Bill and Wynn operate out of the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach areas, while the south Baldwin and Pensacola docks are home to Butch.

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Bill is the son of Anne and Bill Staff Sr. Butch is the son of the late former Atmore attorney J.R. Bob Tucker. The late Dr. John Millson was the father of Wynn, and Brent is the son the late Lewis Shaver.

Each of them maintains elaborate web sites advertising their business. And, during the boating and fishing seasons I am told their charter trips are always full of fishermen. According to their web sites they draw anglers from near and far, even as far away as New York and the Midwest.

Brent was recently featured on a national outdoor TV show using his boat in cargo assistance.

Their boats are well known in the fishing business. Butch’s boat is known as Zeke’s Lady, Wynn’s craft is called Heyboy II, Bill’s is named Sea Spray and Brent’s boat is known as Captain Bligh.

All of these former Atmore businessmen have captured sizeable monetary prizes in respective fishing contests over the years.

So, if you are planning a charter boat excursion check out their websites for what each one of them has to offer.

A few months ago I received an email from Mrs. Mabry Sanchez, who lived here for two years back in the early 1960s.

Mrs. Sanchez told me she and her late husband, who worked with a pipe laying company, were very avid baseball fans and would often sit with Larry Fisher at our ballpark, watching our Little League and Senior Little games. Recalling my writing about the 1961 tournament she asked me to repeat that column I wrote three years ago. I don’t believe I can repeat it but I will make a few comments about that team playing in the Senior Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania in 1961.

I am not sure who all the coaches and league officials were, but I do remember Tony Albert, Sterling Fancher, Frank Patrick and John Holland were among that group.
The players were Eddie Fancher, Claude Steele, Larry Troutman, Keith Russell, Ricky Webb, Leon Phillips, Rodney and William Blackburn, Robert Hughes, Todd Rodgers, John Wingard, Chuck Hagaman, Ronnie Headley, Preston Barnett, Wayne Lowery, Buddy Sharpless and Wayne Godwin. (I hope I did not leave out anyone.)

Several from here made the trip on Alfred Brown’s bus. I went along to broadcast the game back to WATM. I remember seeing all the beautiful farmlands, tulip fields and Amish farms and that attractive Pennsylvania countryside.

We were housed in the Naval and Marine Training Center, located not too far from the ballpark.
I believe this was the first year for Senior Little League teams. Later, we affiliated with the Babe Ruth organization.

Even though we lost to New Jersey, it was an adventure we would always remember.

In those days and up to a few years ago, Atmore’s youth teams played in numerous state, regional and national tournaments. We went to so many tournaments back then I cannot remember them all.

So, moms and dads, keep those sons interested in baseball. It may be their ticket to a college education.

Here at the Advance we said goodbye to Adam Prestridge, a couple of years ago.

I understand he is doing well in his publishing position in Columbia, Mississippi. Located near the Pearl River, it is a progressive town. It is a short distance from the interstate down to New Orleans. He and his family can also travel that same interstate for a relatively short trip right into his hometown of Birmingham.

I am sure by now he is aware of “the mighty Pearl’s” flooding capabilities. And, he has the opportunity to sneak down to the Southern Miss campus to watch some Golden Eagles ball games. It was nice having you here, Adam.

Come back to see us when you can. And, keep little Ethan involved in Little League. He’s going to be a good ball player.

I’ll have more news next week from Atmore’s yesteryears.

You can email Lowell McGill at exam@frontiernet.net.