|Posted on May 25, 2015 at 12:25 AM|
(All opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author. In no way does this reflect the opinions of members of the Tri-C Youth Athletic Board or any others affiliated with the program.)
Memorial Day weekend is a busy time for everyone. It is regarded as the unofficial start of summer, and we too often become so overjoyed with the idea of a three-day weekend that we try to cram too much into it.
The Indianapolis 500 is a must for many in our country and, locally, Herrin Fest takes a front seat in some people’s plans. Of course, a number of people turn it into a mini-vacation. I know of families from our locale who took a trip to St. Louis, Chicago, Nashville, or destinations.
Our family made an annual visit to the cemeteries to decorate the graves of our loved ones and to honor their memory. We should observe Memorial Day in our area, in particular, since one of the first, ever held, was in Carbondale to honor the Civil War dead. John A. Logan was responsible for organizing one of the first “Decoration Day” as it was called at that time.
You should, also, take the opportunity to drive through Cannon Park and even get out and walk through the beautiful display of American flags honoring our local veterans. The Lioness Club is to be highly praised for this tasteful and special salute.
Three of my friends in Florida, served in World War II. They were impressed and amazed by some of the statistics I quoted to them this past winter.
Among those facts were that in 1942, 71 major league baseball players gave up their entire season to be in the military service? In 1943, the number was 219; in 1944, it increased to 342; and in 1945, the number again increased to 384. It’s unbelievable that people making salaries well above the national average would willingly give this up to help protect and defend our nation.
Even more ¬¬impressive is the fact that the list included 16 future Hall-of-Famers including Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Bob Feller, and Stan Musial. Can you imagine some of the modern ball players enlisting in the military? Until the late sixties, when the military draft was discontinued, you would often see at least a dozen or more players losing a whole or part of a season each year. According to my research, the last two major leaguers to lose even a part of a season to the military were Mickey Rivers and Wayne Garrett in 1971.
This writer does not wish to be critical of the modern ballplayer. Rather, one might reflect and positively recognize those who made major sacrifices so that our quality of life could be the best on this planet.
However, one should pose the question, are we better off today than before the Volunteer Army? Maybe, I am the only one that feels this way, but shouldn’t all people be of service to their country? It appears the rich and privileged are exempt from ever serving. Yet those are the ones who reap more benefits from our freedoms.
Regardless of your thinking on my concern, it is important that we continue to honor those who gave service to their country and those, who through history, have led us where we are today.
Random Thoughts and Obvious Observations and a Few Relevant Questions:
Congratulations to the CHS Softball Team for advancing to the Sectional. The team’s record is 32-1. They, obviously, have been outstanding all season long. The girls will play Carmi on Wednesday. The very tough Pinckneyville and Nashville teams are, both, in this Sectional, also. We all are wishing the girls the best!
Congratulations, also, to Maddi Meyer, who was outstanding at the State Track Meet, Saturday. Maddi finished second in the long jump and seventh in the 100 meters.
Also, we want to mention that Teagan Marron is this year’s recipient of the Tri-C Youth Athletics’ Scholarship to a worthy Carterville High School Graduate. We received six good candidates this year and want to wish all of them well. In order to provide this award to a graduate we have held a wiffleball tournament. We hope that more of you will join us next year in this fun event for a good cause.
We have a couple of camps for baseball/softball coming up in the near future. Camps for Kids will be held at James Street Park the mornings of June 8-11. They will offer both baseball and softball instruction for those 6-12 years of age. If you register before June 1 there is a discount in the price. Contact Mike Vanhorn for more information at 815-263-6232.
Brittany Schincker is heading up a camp for softball players 7-12. Those 7-9 will be held June 15-19 and those 10-12 will have their camp June 22-26. You may resister through John A. Logan Continuing Education. If you have questions you may contact Brittany at 618-727-2606.
The standings for Pinto, Mustang, and Bronco may be found on the website in the next few days. We keep these not to boost or deflate anyone’s ego, but in order to keep a record for the seeding of our league tournaments at the end of the regular season.
We, also, will be posting a rainout schedule. Currently, we only have a few games re-scheduled, but there will likely be more in the next few weeks.
Do not forget that we are sponsoring a game at Rent-One Park to see the Miner’s play on June 14. If you have your vouchers ready to be turned in you may do so at the concession stand. There will be representatives present, from the Miner’s on Fun Day.
Fun Day is going to be held this year on June 6. This is our biggest Fundraiser and an opportunity for each of us to join together and show our strength by being active volunteers. Each coach will be assigned a specific one hour time slot to help with the day.
Our day will begin with a parade from the First Baptist parking lot and down Brown Street, at 8:30.
Each team should have three representatives to help with the food lines, the children’s play area (jump tents), or other needed assignments.
More information will be in next week’s Insider.
Each coach’s assignment will be given to them this week. Please, do not let others down by not accepting your responsibility. Fun Day can truly be a “fun day”, if we all pull together to make it so.
Until next time,
Hustle, and always
Use your “noodle.”