In a previous post (https://262downright.wordpress.com/2013/10/22/proud-to-be-an-old-timer/) I wrote about who the members of the Old Timers Baseball Association of Nashville are. I’m just not sure those outside of our organization know what we do. Of course, anyone may go to www.otbaseball.com for information, but there is so much more about us than can be read there.
We come from many walks of life. We are former teachers, bankers, brokers, salesmen, insurance agents, store owners, sportswriters, city employees, lawyers, and judges, and some of us are still coaches, instructors, and umpires.
We are all former players. We loved hitting, throwing, running and catching. Now we are mostly fans, and as fans we still love to watch. And we love to watch our grandchildren play, and we share about their hits and homers, too.
We never liked to hear “you’re out!”, “you were robbed!”, or “strike three!” We didn’t even like to hear “take your base.” But we grew up loving to hear “it’s outa’ here!”, “you’re safe!”, “you made a great play!” and “you played a great game!”
And we take great joy in hearing the old stories told among other Old Timers. We have to admit the more banquets we attend the greater the chances our batting averages go up and our ERAs go down. But more times than not we still remember the ball and strike count, the score, who was pitching and how we hit in certain games, and many of our teammates and opponents are still our friends.
We remember those no longer with us, too, and what great joys they brought to us and the great game of baseball in our city. Those Old Timers who have left us had a love for all sports, but especially baseball, and their love of ‘The Game’ rubbed off on us.
Now those guys are forever “safe at home”. To them we say, “You played a great game. Memories of you will never leave us.”
Today’s Old Timers get a chance to share with others our own special memories. Our year-long work to raise money at our annual golf tournament will be culminated in a celebration on Thursday January 23, 2014, as we will have our 76th annual banquet.
The stories will flow and memories will be re-lived as amateur champions and MVPs will be honored. Former New York Yankee second baseman and 1960 World Series MVP Bobby Richardson will be speaker, and that’s a reason to celebrate, too.
But perhaps most importantly twenty young men will receive scholarship funds to further their education. Once those awards are presented, the Old Timers group will have presented nearly $300,000 over the years to deserving young men.
During the year various baseball programs across middle Tennessee request funds for assistance. We help there, too, so that a ball field can be refurbished or a dugout can be rebuilt following a tornado.
Sharing, remembering, loving, and giving: That’s what we do.