Baseball Outside The Box

  • Friday, June 21, 2024

George Bernard Shaw once wrote, “some people see things as they are and say why, I dream of things that never were and say why not?”

The people in Birmingham are seeing things the way they never were and are saying why not with the refurbishing of Rickwood Field, the honoring of the Negro League Players, Willie Mays, and the playing of a game between St. Louis and San Francisco.

How refreshing it would be if the powers that be here in Chattanooga, Steve Angle, Chancellor at UTC Mark Wharton, A.D. at UTC, and Mayors Kelly and Wamp would get their collective vision together to have our grand old stadium refurbished and collegiate baseball brought back to UTC. 

Would that be hard? Oh yes it would but it can be done if those leaders (I hope that’s correct) and others can get outside the box and think how that could be done. None of us that are proponents of UTC Baseball and Engel Stadium want anything to happen to women’s athletics and Title IX. In fact, we whole heartedly support both.

What if Engel Stadium became a museum for the Southern League and the Mocs could call that their home again? What if UTC hosted a couple of tournaments every year for HBCU teams? How cool it would be for local high school teams to get to play a game or two at one of the oldest minor league stadiums in the country? How significant would it be to continue to honor the heritage of all the players, black, white, Hispanic, and other that have graced the field there on third street.

Wouldn’t it be cool if the UTC students could come out on a spring day and watch their fellow students compete at a high level against other college players. How nice would it be for local players to be able to stay close to home and play the game they love. 

With the talent that is in this area there is absolutely no reason the Mocs could not harvest some really great young men to come carry on the great tradition of the game that so many have played at Engel and the game these young men love.

Come on, Chancellor Angle. If I’m not mistaken, UTC owns the stadium so this should start with you. Come on, Mark Wharton. You were hired at UTC as a man that could raise significant money for the athletic department. Come on, Mayors Kelly and Wamp. What a way to help the entire community get behind a project. Take a look to the southwest at Birmingham and Rickwood Field. They have the blueprint for you.

As the great Ernie Banks once said, “let’s play two.” 

David M. Everett


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