Dear Editor:

In 1966 over 150 baseball players and coaches descended upon Douglas, AZ for the Babe Ruth League World Series.

I was 14-years-old and played for the Southeast team from Nashville, TN. It was a life changing event for all the participating young men. Really, a dream come true. Copper King Stadium was the sight for all the baseball action but it was the people and City of Douglas that stole the show.

An army of volunteers insured that every aspect of the tournament was extraordinary. Over 70 families hosted two boys each for their entire stay. For those two weeks they became our surrogate families. A parade down town, banquets and other events were all coordinated for us. We even practiced one day in bull fighting arena. Local girls (three per team) were our princesses and they participated in all of our team games and events. The city itself sparkled like a diamond.

We had never seen the Southwest before and we were amazed at the beauty of it. We were thankful to Douglas but, 51 years later my appreciation has grown immensely. It only seems appropriate that I say thank you to the city and people of Douglas. You provide a lot of boys with a lot of life long memories.

Background from that team: Nashville played in the 1967 WS in Anchorage, Alaska. I was the only returnee. Nashville (with most of the players on the 1966 team) participated in three Connie Mack League WS in Farmington, NM.

Our head coach achieved many great things in baseball. Among them bringing a minor league team to Nashville and becoming a Vanderbilt University baseball coach and school Hall of Fame inductee. Six members of the 1966 team played baseball and graduated from Vanderbilt. The 1973 Vandy team won the school's first ever SEC Championship. Two members played in the major leagues. Sadly, two members of that team have passed.

Sincerely,

Robert Hendrickson

Walnut Creek, Calif.

 

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