State tourney brings back memories

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 29, 2000

It has been brought to my attention numerous times from several different people that this year is the first year that four Natchez baseball teams have gone to a state tournament.

The 9-10 year olds, 11-12 year olds, 13 year olds and 14 year olds have, in one way or another, made it to their respective state tournaments this year, which is a first for Natchez.

The 9-10 year olds were the only team to be fortunate enough to have hosted the state tournament for their league.

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They were eliminated by Carthage in their third game of the tournament, which came a night after they and Columbus went 10 innings before Natchez won 5-4.

I&160;was lucky enough to cover the 9-10 state tournament down at Ballew-Bowlin Field in Duncan Park, and I&160;say lucky because it brought back more memories than I can count on two hands.

I was on the 1991 State Championship team from Natchez in the 9-10 division, and seeing the likes of &uot;Porky&uot;&160;Smith, Johnny Atkins, Gerry Winters, Neil Brown, Chris Newman and Brandon and Doug Atkins brought back memories from not only that tournament, but all the other tournaments that I was involved in with those guys.

Some of them even asked me if it brought back memories of playing down at Ballew-Bowlin Field, and I&160;had to tell them that it did.

Doug, Brandon and I&160;all played together on the 1991, 1993 and 1994 state championship teams in 9-10-, 11-12- and 13-year-old divisions, and we were coached by their father, Johnny.

Seeing the three of them, plus all of the others, made me think back to what it was like when we were that age.

Another reason why this time of year is stirring up more memories is because my younger brother, Jeremy, is taking part in the 13-year old State Tournament in Laurel, and after seeing the Atkins’, Winters, Smith, Newman and Brown it reminds me of the fun times we had when we were 13 years old.

There are some days I wish we could all be that age again, and be playing the game that we all love, but then I&160;realize the fact that I would not trade those memories for anything in the world.

4The trading deadline is Monday, and there are so many players’ names floating around the talk shows and television that are apparently ripe for the trading block that it looks like a fire sale.

Names like Curt Schilling, Rondell White, Pete Harnisch, Manny Ramirez, Charles Johnson and others are rumored to be wearing different uniforms by the beginning of next week.

With all of those marquee names up in the air as to whether or not they will be traded, it should make for a very interesting next few days, because the addition of one good player to a contending team, can make or break any number of teams’ season.

4Reggie White is back on the football field.

White recently came out of retirement and signed with the Carolina Panthers.

Personally, I&160;think this is a good and bad decision on his part.

White is aging and doing so very quickly, even though he is only 38 years old.

On the other hand, he is still one of the most feared defensive lineman to ever play the game.

It will be very interesting to see whether or not he will be able to return to form, and help the Panthers take the next step to winning a title.

Jason Munz is an intern at The Natchez Democrat.