Trussville Little League

A Small Town Boy Remembers The Good Days

America Was Destined For Greatness By Our Founding Fathers Faith And Perserverance

A Small Town Boy Reflects That Perserverance Fulfilled

Trussville Little League and A Small Town Boy looking back with a pride of dreams once lived is heart touching. To not share these thoughts which will also allow you to reflect and relive your own moments of dreams, would be the greatest tragedy ever told.

My brother has graciously retold of Trussville Little League as only one of America's many stories of "A Small Town Boy" pertaining to millions of baseball moments where Little League begins in time.

Reflective rememberance of Trussville Little League our days and of youth baseball highlights those things which provided a wonderful heritage and helped to push our country toward greatness.

Following is an uncensored personal story of Trussville Little League and "A Small Town Boy" and I am compelled to share it with you as Trussville Little League. Since it is personal no reproduction and or use of this writing is allowed without the personal consent of my younger brothers' recount of "A Small town Boy".

Bailey told me no censorship is needed for me to let the world archives have its say. So be it "A Small town Boy" is for all who will to enjoy.

He said, "If my thoughts might encourage others to send you their memory stories it will please me greatly."

This is what Trussville Little League is about:

---------------"A SMALL TOWN BOY"------------------------

For years and years when arriving into my hometown coming north on US Highway 11 from the City of Birmingham, thru Woodlawn, then East Lake and Roebuck Plaza I always passed a sign that had been erected by its proud citizens and community leaders advising and inviting travelers passing through to take the time to look over our wonderful town and meet our friendly hometown merchants.

Indirectly the proud town of Trussville wanted for the travelers to stop and shop with our local home owned gas stations, grocery stores, Five and Dime Store or maybe eat a hamburger or hot dog, have a nice lunch or dinner or even pick up some ice for their drink cooler.

The motorists could expect and receive excellent and sincere service of appreciation from the several gas station operators. The filling station owners pumped gas and your windshield would be cleaned as well as oil and water levels checked to see that all fluid levels were proper.

Even a check of the tire pressures was a standard procedure. All of this was done as a courtesy for stopping and giving them your business.

The groceries purchased at the grocery stores would be placed in paper bags with care and were happily brought and placed in your car to make your shopping stop as pleasant and effortless as possible by young courteous boys working to have a little spending money for school and other things they might want to buy.

If you needed a haircut or trim the local barbers would happily take your business without an appointment. And as was the case in many small town barber shop you could expect to receive first hand information about our community and the happenings and latest news in the community if you so desired such information.

Since you would probably be in the chair maybe five or ten minutes many of your questions and curiosity about our community could be answered. You see in a small town the barber acted much like the mayor, newsman or a public relations person. The barber shop in essence housed the same information you would receive at the Town Hall, Chamber of Commerce or Police Department.

If you needed a new pair of shoes or any other type clothing Trussville merchants had it there for you all at reasonable hometown prices. As a small town boy they knew and would call our name when we shopped with mom.

Car problems could be easily solved by mechanics trained the old fashion way, they learned it from their daddy or someone else knowledgeable of the trade. True craftsmen who would tell the truth about your problem and get you back on the road without having to wire home for money in most cases.

The mechanics in our town valued any customer who required their services and their main goal was to get you back on the road safely and receive a fair price for services rendered to maintain and support their families.

All our local businesses were owned and operated by individuals within the community and to them reputation was everything. Trussville being a friendly town as remembered by a small town boy, with a rich heritage, was always willing to extend its hand of friendship and in it’s on unique way would say come and join us.

We would love to have you be our neighbor. Our town will be your town.

Trussville was a unique town a dream place to grow up. During the late 1930’s I believe was the time frame when Trussville was selected to have the government build a very nice housing project.

The streets were laid out in block style and there were sidewalks along all the streets in front of the homes. A Mall or a grassy park was also included in the governments design.

Trussville was a most picturesque community and it has retained that charm to this day. In the preceding comments referring to the town’s sign here is the way that I remember it reading, Welcome to Trussville Big City Conveniences Small Town Hospitality Population 2,500

Well this was way before the interstates were built and all traffic would come up US Highway 11. US Highway 11 was one of the main US Highways going from South to North and vice versa. I think that it run all the way from New Orleans, La. to Chicago.

During the late 40’s and early nifty 50’s there were very few cars running up and down old US 11. My mother and dad were owners of a gas station and grocery store in the late 40’s and the 50’s. I remember my brothers Bill and Bob who were 12 years my senior would have their buddy’s come and hangout at the service station.

Even though I was young I can remember my brothers and their buddy’s betting for Cokes on what car would pass next. Would it be a Ford, a Chevy, An Oldsmobile Or maybe a Pontiac?

Well I’ll tell you sometimes it would take 10 or 15 minutes just to settle the bet.

Playing with some kind of ball has always been a thrill for me. And so as it happened in 1948 I ran across Highway 11 chasing after a ball and was fortunate that I didn’t get killed.

Mom as I understand someone heard her say “A car comes by here about every hour or so and why oh why did my little child have to be chasing that ball at the wrong time”.

Fortunately I recovered, but I never lost my passion of “playing with a ball.” With that thought in mind I want to move on to another great thing about being raised in a small town or community and being a small town boy.

The great thing about our town of Trussville that I am referring to as a small town boy was its enthusiasm for sports and even those who didn’t participate usually were avid spectators.

Up until 1955 I believe we had a small kids baseball program, which was basically like Trussville Little League, but there were no sponsors and the coaches were normally high school baseball players.

Then something grand took place in our little town. Little League baseball begins and becomes a most vital and exciting part of Trussville as Trussville Little League started like gang busters.

Mr. Henry Reeder,Sr. along with Jimmy Tarrant, a well known high school coach, Mr. and Mrs. Oglesby, Arville Larsen, Ray Todd, Steve Quick, Paul Durette, Calvin Collins, Whaley “Pop” Hall Sr. and a host of others decided that Trussville was going to have a Trussville Little League program like some of the other towns and communities for it’s youngsters.

A small town boy was witness to a fantastic almost unreal ground swell of community togetherness and unprecedented support of Trussville Little League Baseball.

I remember the night that we burned off the area that would become our Trussville Little League field.

In a beautiful flat setting near the Cahaba River the facility was magnificent with outfield grass, silver chain link fence, a level and smooth infield with an elevated pitcher’s mound, lights on tall telephone poles for night games, visitor and home dugouts, an announcers box with a PA System above the covered grandstand and a wonderful concession stand.

When the strands of music "Stars and Stripes Forever" came across the PA System it really used to energize me and make me want to play ball with the same tempo.

Many of the fathers and mothers who were instrumental in founding our Trussville Little League program had sons who played and many of the other young ball players just seemed to show up and wanted to play.

Trussville's Little League Baseball was a small town boy's dream come true.

Man oh Man what a wonderful time we had back then. Friends made on the field there are forever dear and are still held in high esteem.

Well the interstates have bypassed Trussville for the most part and shopping centers with national chain stores is the rule. City Hall is annexing any and every piece of property it can to expand its population and influence. Yes, Trussville is no longer a small community where everybody knew each other and where each person lived.

The City of Trussville is a “Now City” with a strong focus on the present and the future with little regard to its past heritage. I say this because I know it to be true.

Recently I went to the Trussville Little League Park where so many young boys and I spent hours of pleasure playing a game that we all loved. The field where we started as Little League teammates is now grown up in weeds and there was not a sign that a baseball game had ever been played there.

On the hill where the Pony League Field was located is now a Senior Citizens Hall. In the name of progress they relocated the youth ball fields to a different location, which I’m sure is a good thing. Oh yes we were the young ball players of the 50’s and we all had our heroes and wanted to be like them. We young ball players with “dreams of someday playing in the big leagues just like our baseball heroes ” traded bubblegum baseball cards” with one another in hope of getting a collection of our favorite players.

You know this group of boys that I played with over about a 5 year period did for the most part did become what they sought.

Maybe not in baseball, but winners in life in their different vocations, and being heroes in their own way.

I know of one boy on my team who is a West Point Graduate, now owns his own Mortgage Company and serves the prestigious position as Chairman of the Board of Medical Center East Hospital.

This particular individual is the son of Jimmy Tarrant who was so instrumental in forming our Trussville Little League Program.

Others who excelled on the field and made successful career choices are many. I know many others of my former teammates and players who were in our Trussville Little League program who have contributed so very much to society.

Many like myself coming from somewhat humble, but close knit homes. They were taught to give their all on the field and do it with good sportsmanship like conduct.

To be a winner you must be a winner and there were many winners and high achievers produced during this era.

The coaches, though unpaid, taught us and embellished in our mind to give our all and if so good things would come out of our efforts.

In the most part these excellent coaches made little boys think positive and make a man of ourselves whether on the playing field or in life. Most of us paid attention and the results are self-evident.

From that group of kids there are Educators, Dentists, Doctors, Surgeons, Veterinarians, Bankers, State Politicians, Military Personnel, Land and Office Complex Developers, Building Contractors, Executives with Major Utilities Companies, Bank Executives, Plant Managers, Plant Workers of long tenure and so many more that I do not have knowledge of. There is even a Professional Golfer and Golf Course Designer.

The reason for all our success I think comes first from what we learned at home and what we learned from our experiences on the baseball diamond under the caring coaching of our coaches.

This group of Trussville Little League kids from small town America I’m sure is probably no different than the rest of the youngsters throughout the United States in their efforts, dreams and achievements.

The only difference is that I knew these boys personally and I remember how we loved playing the game and their names should not be forgotten.

The City Fathers who let our Little League Field go down and who did not realize the joys and triumphant moments that occurred on that special and particular little plot of ground there without a sense of sentiment and feeling the nostalgia that is associated with that one plot of ground should hang their heads in shame.

The boys of the 50’s Trussville Little League Team and their coaches deserve that field be honored. A historical marker should be erected on the Original Trussville Little League Ball Field site along with every player’s name that played that 1st year?

I think the appropriate place for a marker would be at the old spot of home plate. Everyone that ever played the game at the Historical first Trussville Little League field all have been to home plate even if they never got a hit and reached 1st base.

I would say that every player who ever played in a little league game in our small town tapped his bat on the plate while readying himself for the pitcher’s pitch.

In a sense and in all reality “Home is where the Heart is” and I’ve heard my coach encouraging me to round third base by hollering, “Come on Home”.

Well my friend the world is a whizzing by and some things of old are no longer there or the same. The Original Welcome To Trussville sign has long been removed and rather than be a close knit community it has grown in size to such it is one of the fastest growing Cities in Alabama.

Well, I guess progress has a purpose, but it should never be so at the expense of past memories of dedicated youth baseball players or any individuals that compete in athletic competition produces real winners in life and makes contributions to our society.

Well, these people who failed to recognize there was a great past in our community and are in it for the now and the future are in for a rude awakening. What goes around usually comes around and they can rest assured future generations will not recognize their names and efforts unless that “Good Ole Small Town Philosophy of Life” returns to our way of living.

But, I want to tell you something very special about me and I think that I can speak for my fellow little league teammates and players of my era. And that is some things never change and those are my memories as a small town boy.

I’ll always remember being the 1st catcher to wear the Trussville Little League Yankee uniform with the #5 on the back and being known throughout the community as “Little Yogi.”

If the truth would be known I bet all my fellow baseball players of that 1st year all feel the same. We were some more group of ballplayers and friends.

We were “One for All and All for One” and that’s the way the Game of Life should be played.

Bailey Channell my brother and I grew up as small town boys.

Folks that's how it is for Trussville Little League and A Small Town Boy.

Batter Up----Let's Play Ball....

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