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




Signal Planning Issues

In her article entitled: " 1st Vote On Controversial Signal Mountain Grocery Proposal Set June 13…,” Gail Perry wrote: "A town ordinance requires that a decision is made in response to a zoning request  within 90 days  of the time that the council receives a recommendation, either for or against, from the planning commission. In that time period, there must ... (click for more)

City Puts Another Crimp In The Fading Affordable House

We love to have conversations around affordable housing and how big bad developers are only chasing the dirty dollar. But then the same administration proposes an increase in all the costs that go into an affordable house. We see countless examples of building codes and zoning ordinances tightening up regulations. A couple months ago, Red Bank increased the minimum house size (tax ... (click for more)

Pedestrian Struck And Killed On Hixson Pike Saturday Night

A pedestrian was struck and killed on Saturday night on Hixson Pike. Chattanooga Police Department responded at 10:05 p.m. to a pedestrian struck at 5400 Hixson Pike.   A Ford F150 driven by Francis Lamonica, 66, was traveling north in the fast lane. The pedestrian was attempting to cross the roadway and was struck by the vehicle.   Mr. Lamonica was ... (click for more)

Aaron Biddle, 21, Shot And Killed On Basswood Drive Saturday Afternoon; Jadarius Knox, 23, Arrested For Criminal Homicide

Aaron Biddle, 21, was shot and killed on Saturday afternoon. Jadarius Knox, 23, has been arrested, and charged with criminal homicide. The Chattanooga Police Department responded around 3:45 p.m. to the 7800 block of Basswood Drive on reports of a person who had been shot.  Upon arrival, police were able to locate the victim who had succumbed to his injuries. Knox ... (click for more)

Summertown Stops Sale Creek's Bid For A State Class 1A State Softball Title, 7-5

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Sale Creek had its sight set on making some softball history Friday. The Lady Panthers reached their first TSSAA state softball championship with a 3-1 victory over Cascade, powered by a Trinity Liner three-run homer on her 18 th birthday. A few hours later, they wanted to beat Summertown and set up a second title game for all the marbles. ... (click for more)

Silverdale Wins D-II-A State Softball Title

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Kaili Phillips got disqualified in the first inning of Thursday’s game against the Tipton-Rosemark Lady Rebels and nobody gave the Silverdale Lady Seahawks a snowball’s chance of winning that game. But they did. Nobody gave the Lady Seahawks much of a chance of repeating that feat less than 24 hours later in the winner-take-all final game, but once again, ... (click for more)