Tag Archives: Gerald Montgomery

Baseball Celebration, Baseball Chatter

Baseball has been a slice of America since its beginning. It has created rivalries among cities, towns, and states, and has also brought schools, teammates, and families together. Attending a game brings a peace to everyday life where fans can chat about home, discuss batting averages, and enjoy the progress of raw talent while admiring the decline of an All-Star and maybe a future Hall of Famer.

It is a participation game. It calls for players at nine positions on the field, and a supporting cast of relievers, utility fielders, and sometimes designated hitters. Playing the game creates situations that call for quick thinking, strong arms, and lively bats.

It is also a game to be watched. Fans see athletic skills, managerial prowess, and disappointing losses at the ballpark. “The Game” is perfect in its imperfections through errors, wild pitches, and strikeouts.

The solace of a ballpark, of concrete and steel and of wood splinters and bleachers, overlooks the stage of green and brown where players paint their masterpieces of sweat and of tears.

Celebrating those moments are as important as studying the past, reliving historical traditions, and hoping for continuation of moments once experienced by previous generations.

Tomorrow night at the Millennium Maxwell House in Nashville the Old Timers Baseball Association of Nashville will give area baseball fans a chance to celebrate once again. It will be the 76th annual banquet for the Old Timers, an organization which has as its creed a testament to all things “Baseball”:

“To enjoy fellowship with baseball enthusiasts and to honor and support the great game of baseball at all levels.”

HearFormer professional baseball players will be attending including Bobby Richardson who was MVP of the 1960 World Series as second baseman for the New York Yankees, amateur players will be honored, twenty high school seniors will receive scholarship awards, Gerald Montgomery will be honored as the latest selection for Nashville’s Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame, and Dennis Birdwell will be given his “Mr. Baseball” award.

But that’s not all. The baseball chatter at each table will be there for all to hear. Lean in and listen. The stories are vital to those telling and vital those who hear them.

Those “slices of America” are important in the celebration of “The Game”, too.

© 2014 by Skip Nipper. All Rights Reserved.

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Gerald Montgomery, Nashville Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame Inductee for 2014

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.Gerald

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.

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