Gerald Montgomery has a special memory of Sulphur Dell, Nashville’s famous ballpark, that took place when he was fifteen years old.
“In 1961 at Sulphur Dell, on the last day of the Nashville Baptist League season, I pitched both ends of a must-win double header and our team won the championship.”
Gerald is proud of his baseball history without boasting, but his recollections are detailed and clear. His amateur play included playing for Woodbine Lions in the Babe Ruth League and Post 5 in American Legion ball. Gerald began his scholastic career at Central High School where he played with his brother Robert, who had a 10-year major league career with the Boston Red Sox.
When his family moved into the Antioch High School zone, he played quarterback for the Bears football team, and excelled at basketball and baseball, too. Gerald was a two-time All-Nashville player in baseball and was awarded “Player of the Year” honors his junior year. A right-hander, Gerald led Antioch to the state tournament.
Signing a professional baseball contract with the Boston Red Sox in 1965, Gerald was assigned to the Harlan Red Sox in the Appalachian League and finished the season in Wellsville, New York in the New York-Pennsylvania League. At the age of 20, Gerald was back in the NYPL for a second season, this time at Oneonta, New York where he pitched to a 2-2 record.
Once his professional career ended he returned to Nashville, playing in the Tri-State League for Haynes Garment and Nauta-Line before becoming a player-manager for the Nolensville team.
When I was elected vice-president of the Old Timers organization, the president was Gerald Montgomery. What I learned from him during his term (2007-2008) was dedication and leadership. Those qualities are often found in “baseball people”, but Gerald took extra steps to prepare me to become president once his term was to end.
In 2009 he sent a letter to me, offering more encouragement as my term began. I valued the time he took in offering guidance and I continued to ask his opinion on Old Timers business.
Gerald will be presented as the newest member of the Nashville Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame at the 76th annual Old Timers banquet on Thursday, January 23rd at the Millennium Maxwell House. His baseball friends will honor his accomplishments with his induction into the Old Timers Hall of Fame.
© 2014 by Skip Nipper. All Rights Reserved.