Every Coach’s Dream, Chapter 8

Every Coach’s Dream, A True Story about Dixie Youth Baseball in Three Small Towns, by Harold A Brown

Chapter 8: League Game Five – Nolensville Blue

You can learn from everyone.

Game number five was on Friday against the Nolensville Blue team so the Red team didn’t have time to feel remorse about another loss to College Grove.

Bobby Stephenson: Bobby coached the Nolensville Blue team. Bobby and his family were movers and shakers when it came to sports in Nolensville. His father, like Bobby, was one of a kind. If a boy’s father had played for Bobby then they wanted their son to follow in their footsteps. Bobby was a great guy and a good coach. If you didn’t like Bobby then you didn’t like anyone.

The Nolensville Red team was the home team and would start Marty Jones, a left hander. Nunn Arledge would start for the Blue team.

The league played under the banner of Dixie Youth. The rule for pitching was standard for that age group. You could pitch a total of six inning a week unless you started the game and it went into extra innings. That allowed the starter to pitch a total of seven innings. If you pitched three innings or less you could pitch the next day but if you pitched four innings you had to have 48 hours rest and a game between games in order to pitch again that week. Coaches were on the honor system. Some had honor and some didn’t.

Lou Ray Grimes would lead off the top of the first. His bat had been hot against the Red team. He hit the third pitch to Lajuane, the shortstop, and he got the assist by completing the play to first baseman, Darrell Skinner. Brian Cummings got on base when Rocket, fill-in second baseman, committed an error. Chris Wince struck out on three pitches. Nunn, the clean-up hitter would walk on four pitches. Nunn and Brian would both move up on the bases, giving the Blue team runners on second and third with two outs. The fifth batter in the inning would make the mistake of hitting to Mister Perfect at short. He made the toss to first for the third out.

Lajuane and Marty both walked and proceeded to steal bases while Teddy Hannah was in the process of striking out. Darrell followed Teddy with the same results. They now had two outs and two runs. Owen and Rocket did the same thing that Lajuane and Marty did while Jimmy Johnson was at bat. Nunn struck out three batters and walked four but his team allowed four runs to cross the plate without a single hit.

Marty was given a nice lead to work with. Adam Cook was the number six hitter in the lineup. He was a large strong boy with little confidence. When he started to believe in himself, his hitting and fielding were something to fear. He played on Coach’s team as a 13-14 year old. They lost three regular season games that year while playing in a tough Franklin league. Marty struck out Adam and then Capley. Vest, the eighth hitter walked on four pitches but Benjamin Holt hit a liner back to Marty. Out number three was in the books.

Alex Lankford walked on six pitches and stole bases like it was legal. Frank Ogilvie struck out on four pitches. It was hard to walk Frank because he wanted to hit something. Lajuane got his walk and also stole a base. Marty did the unusual and struck out. Teddy rewarded Coach for his movement up in the lineup with a single that scored Alex and Lajuane. While Owen was batting, both Teddy and Darrell scored on passed balls. Owen hit a nice shot to right field but Benjamin made the catch for the third out. 

Jimmy Johnson took the mound to start the third inning. Lou Ray led off with a single and stole second while Brian was striking out. Chris hit a fly ball to Teddy in center field and Nunn struck out on five pitches. A good start for Jimmy.

Rocket started the bottom of the third with a single and Jimmy walked. Derek hit a single and scored Rocket. Brad walked as did Lajuane. His walk would score Jimmy. Marty hit an infield fly for out number one. Teddy’s double scored Derek, Brad and Lajuane. Darrell hit a double and Owen walked. Rocket was up to bat with bases loaded and one out. Rocket struck out and Teddy was thrown out stealing home. The third inning was over.

Jimmy lost his concentration after a fielding error to start the fourth. Five runs scored before Coach brought in Darrell to clean up the mess. The defense made one more error before getting it together and crashing the Blue team’s hopes for a comeback.

Brian Cummings went to the mound at the bottom of the fourth. Time was running out and after sending four batters to the plate and scoring one more run, the game was called because of time. You can learn from everyone.

Nolensville Blue 5, Nolensville Red 14

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