Red Bank Has A Rich Softball History

Sunday, February 17, 2013
I want to send out a wonderful and grateful thank you for all the workers on our new ball fields at James Ave.   

From the early 1970's until 2000, there was just two fields. There was a large field for the men's church league and a smaller one for the ladies. For 30 years, the area came alive with the sound of crowds cheering and the smell of popcorn.  The fields were jam packed with teams playing softball. 

The league was used mostly for the young ladies who were too old to play in Red Bank recreational softball.  The church league founder Mrs. Norma Cagle wanted a safe place for young ladies to play softball.  Mrs. Cagle and the White Oak Lions Club team up and get the church softball league going.

Through it's 30 years of wonderful fellowship and family togetherness, a tradition was built. At first, the league was opened to any of Chattanooga's area churches. The league became so popular that the league had to close it to just Red Bank churches. 

Home run derby, watermelon eating, homemade ice cream and other exciting things happened during the season ending tournaments.  It was like a scene in a Disney move at times because it seemed so hometown and pride of that hometown.

In 1998- it all changed.  Mrs. Cagle passed away expectantly. A huge purple wreath hung on the oak tree at the field where she sat during the nights of softball.  She loved all of her softball teams. The young ladies who have played in the league for 30 years was called "Norma's Girls." The Red Bank mayor and commissioners wrote up a proclamation naming the James Avenue ball field, the NORMA CAGLE Field. 

The league went on for another year but sadly closed in 2000.  The team either disbanded or went elsewhere. One team what was left of Norma's church league traveled up to Soddy-Daisy to play in their Church League. They won many league championships.

The Cagle fields sat vacant and silent like a thrown away paper bag.  The fields that once was so busy were vacant.  The White Oak Lions Club closed as well.  The field became a popular place for non church activities and questionable meetings. 

Many of Norma's former ball players would visit the fields like a long lost friend.  Dixie Youth teams used the fields as for extra practices. At least someone was using the fields that Norma cherished.

One day, one of Norma's former softball girls wrote a story about the fields for Chattanoogan.com. WRCB Channel 3 picked up on the story.  They wanted to do a human interest/hometown story about the fields. At the time, a local group had plans to remodel the fields for fast pitch games.  The group cleared out everything.  The lights, fences, stands, and even Norma's tree was torn down. The sign stating the field's name was crushed by the bulldozer like a paper cup. Norma's daughter found it in a pile of rubbish. They had little to no feelings. The sign was fished out and stored at one of the young ladies' house.  The group runs out of money and the fields sat vacant once again. 

The city of Red Bank saw the news story and wanted to do something about it.  Red Bank's then mayor and commissioners ran with the idea to remodel the fields for the Red Bank Recreation Softball. The RB recreational league's fields were being taken up for the new RB Middle School.

The other day, Norma's daughter Beverly and myself walked around the fields. It was like visiting an old friend.  The fields are beautiful.  The whole complex is beautiful.  There was much love and hard work who went into remodeling the area. Beverly and I looked off the picnic area. We wished that Beverly's parents could see their little fields.  They would love it as much as Beverly and I do. 

I cannot help the feelings building up inside while I walked around. We passed by the flag pole marker that the White Oak Lions Club built for one of their faithful members, Mr. Stegal.

I want to send out endless thanks and appreciation for taking care of our ball fields. Our Red Bank mayor and commissioners get a lot of bad press for all kind of things. They mean a lot to me for all the hard work that took to get Norma Cagle Fields back on its feet. I wished the future young ladies who play on the fields knew Mrs. Cagle and the city for what they put into the fields. 

Thanks to RB former mayors (Pat Brown, Joe Glasscock, and Monte Millard), former city manager Chris and now city manager and all the ones behind the scenes.  Thanks for everything.

One of many Norma Cagle's softball girls, 
Laura Crane



EPA Overreach Jeopardizes Jobs And Increases Energy Prices

The latest round of regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency are difficult to rationalize. The EPA’s planned greenhouse gas rules will jeopardize low-cost electricity relied upon by local governments, small businesses, farmers and manufacturers – a regulation whose impact will be felt by much more than just energy producers and utility companies – but throughout the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Lamenting ‘The Last Day’

I wasn’t at Fenway Park yesterday but I know what happened. Yes, it was No. 2’s last game of a great career, and more Yankees fans than usual were packed into Boston’s holy ground to see Derek Jeter’s swan song. But what I know happened has become an almost sacred rite, when towards the final out of the last game of the season Red Sox radio announcer Joe Castiglione will read a ... (click for more)

Witnesses In 17-Year-Old Murder Case Say They Saw Hollingsworth Threaten, Mistreat Wife

Two potential witnesses in a 17-year-old murder testified Monday that they saw Adolphus Lebron Hollingsworth threaten and mistreat his wife Vicky before she disappeared in 1997. Hollingsworth, who is under $200,000 bond, is set for trial on Nov. 4. Orville Hughes said he lived around the corner from Vicky when he was on Chamberlain Avenue and they were on Duncan Avenue. ... (click for more)

Family Makes Treasure Trove Of Early Chattanooga Photographs Available For Book; Stokes Collection Has Been Passed Down To Descendants

A treasure trove of Chattanooga photographs that have been passed down in the Stokes family for generations has now been assembled in an upcoming book. Chattanooga Around The Turn Of The Century: The Remarkable Stokes Collection will be published by Chattanoogan.com. Pre-orders are now being taken for the book, which includes over 700 photos on large-size pages. Publisher ... (click for more)

Baylor Impressive In Volleyball Sweep Of Signal Mountain

Baylor coach Sarah Lail paused briefly before saying that she's seen her Lady Red Raider volleyball team play better than they did on Monday, but they did just about everything right as they celebrated Senior Night with an impressive 3-0 victory over the Signal Mountain Lady Eagles. It was a meeting of two of the top three teams in Chattanooga -- too bad that Ooltewah couldn't ... (click for more)

Basketball, Wrestling Mocs Host Ball N' Brawl

It’s party time in the Scenic City. Chattanooga’s team is sending some of its best to close down 3rd Street on Friday, October 10, for Ball N’ Brawl. This inaugural event features the men’s and women’s basketball programs along with the wrestling team. “This was an idea coaches Heath Eslinger (wrestling) and Will Wade (men’s basketball) came up with,” Director of Marketing and ... (click for more)