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Baseball reunion brings back old friends and teammates

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Former American Legion baseball players jabbed playfully at one another and told stories of their playing days one more time.

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Jack Fountain (upper, left) speaks with Billy Watkins (seated, center) during an American Legion Baseball league reunion dinner at post 63 off Milledge Road on Tuesday.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Jack Fountain (upper, left) speaks with Billy Watkins (seated, center) during an American Legion Baseball league reunion dinner at post 63 off Milledge Road on Tuesday.

The American Legion baseball reunion was held Tuesday night at Richmond Post 63, allowing past players an opportunity to meet old teammates and friends.

“It’s been wonderful to have this,” said Don Berry, who played from 1948-50. “It’s great fellowship. The American Legion has been gracious to us, and this has been very successful.”

Former players swapped stories of when they played, such as the Augusta and North Augusta posts playing at Jennings Field. Even former umpires joked with the players they used to officiate.

“I was probably called a blind man 1,000 times, but none of them ever threatened me,” said Robert Attaway, who was an umpire for more than 35 years.

The reunion featured guest speaker Phil Schaefer, a sportscaster and author who covered the Masters Tournament for NBC and CBS Radio, and was a play-by-play and public address announcer for numerous teams, including the Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Falcons.

Schaefer is also the former sports director for WSB in Atlanta and is an award-winning sportscaster for his work in sports, news and play-by-play.

He was voted Georgia Sportscaster of the Year three times.

American Legion baseball has a rich history dating back to 1925.

According to the league’s Web site, the American Legion has produced more than 60 National Baseball Hall of Famers, and more than half of current major leaguers were participants.

Nearly 60 percent of current college baseball players were also in the league. The age range for the league is 12 to 20 years old.

“I’ve only missed one of these events,” Rod Greenway said. “They’re a lot of fun. A lot of men here played legion ball and coached.”


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