The popular 1985 Bruce Springsteen song Glory Days references a former high school baseball player “who could throw that speedball by you.”
Athens baseball players from days gone by will have a chance to relive their own glory days and try to throw some speedballs Saturday, Sept. 21, at the first Athens High School Baseball Alumni Game.
Athens baseball coach Chuck Smith came up with the idea to have an alumni game to bring former Golden Eagles baseball players together on the baseball field.
“I've been here for four years now, and we're trying to get some of the guys who have not played for me and some guys I've not met before,” Smith said. “A lot of these guys didn't get to play on the new field. They'll get a chance to experience that and relive some of their glory days.”
The event is open for all former Athens baseball players, no matter how long ago. If some would like to just sit in the dugout during the game and not play, Smith said they are welcome to come as well.
The cost to participate in the game is $30. Checks should be mailed to Athens High School, P.O. Box 109, Athens, AL 35612. They can also be brought by the high school. In order to receive an alumni baseball shirt, payment should be made today.
Batting practice will be at 9 a.m. with the game starting at 11. Lunch will follow the game. Smith said the plan is to play seven innings if there is enough pitching.
“If we play seven innings that's great,” he said. “If we have enough pitching to play more, we might do that. If the guys are ready to be done after five innings, we can shut it down then too.”
Smith said there has been quite a bit of excitement about the game.
“So far we've had over 30 people already send back in the payment to come back and play,” he said. “I bet we have 15-20 people just show up the morning of. If they show up the morning of, we'll put them out there and they can play.”
Smith said his current players are also looking forward to the game, especially those who have fathers planning to participate.
“Their dads have talked about how good they were in high school,” Smith said. “Now here's a chance for them to prove it.”