CARL BROWN – Senior Softball Legend

If you asked Carl about the origins of baseball, he wouldn’t reply with that story about Abner Doubleday. Certainly not.

No, he would tell you baseball began in Summerville, Georgia, when an eight-year-old boy played on the street with his older brothers. First, you needed to find the right size rock, one that felt like you could toss it a fair distance and it might even roll a bit. Then, one brother would cover that rock with tarpaper and electrical tape, while the other grabbed an axe and strolled into the pine forest. When he returned with a tree suitable for whacking that rock, he would strip the bark, hack the wood to about three feet, and that was the birth of baseball.

One of those brothers played for the original Atlanta Crackers, and in 1948, Carl remembers visiting Cracker Field to cheer his brother and his team. He sat with Eddie Mathews and Chuck Tanner, future legends of baseball.

From those early days, Carl developed into an outstanding player, active in high school baseball, and soon developed into a traveling softball player. His wife, Shirley, encouraged his participation, and after 66 years of marriage, she remains an ardent supporter of Carl’s enthusiasm for the sport.

During that career, his team won the Softball World Series in Dallas, Texas, and over the years, he received several gold medals and awards for his defensive performances.

He and Shirley brought up a family where baseball is an integral part of their lives, and most of his clan played the sport at some organized level. The total count of their family is now at 3 children, 7 grandchildren, and 8 great-grandchildren.

But after all that, Carl’s heart still flutters just a little (thank goodness) when he thinks of all the boys, ages 8-16, who played baseball and he coached over thirty years. I’m willing to bet most of those athletes would remember Carl as that kind of soul who taught with the fervor and patience that captivates young men. If you talk with Carl now, you can still sense that gentleness within.

Carl is currently recovering from some elements of aging, but plans to return to the softball diamond this spring. He plays in the Cherokee County (Georgia) Senior Softball Association leagues at Hobgood Park in Woodstock, GA. Welcome Back, Carl. We miss you!

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