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'Old Timers' baseball game set for Saturday

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

BACONTON -- It may be a bit chilly, but Baconton Charter School baseball coach Bubber Birdsong says come on down and have a good time as he hosts the Fourth Annual Old Timer's Day in Baconton on Saturday.

Birdsong brings in former baseball players every year for the popular event, which features more indoor activities than outdoor, including a breakfast and autograph session.

He has even changed the game format this year from a baseball game to a softball game.

"We decided to do that because of the weather,'' said Birdsong, who holds the event in January because many of the participants have to be at spring training next month, and because "high school baseball season starts Jan. 31."

The day starts off at 8:30 a.m. with a Fellowship of Christian Athletes breakfast, featuring Bernie Carbo, whose three-run home run in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series set up Carlton Fisk's legendary 12th-inning homer that won the game for the Red Sox against the Reds.

Gene Dews, the softball coach and athletic director at Wallace College in Dothan Ala., will also be featured at the breakfast, which will be held at the Vision Covenant Church, located at the intersection of Highway 93 and Highway 3 in Baconton. The price for breakfast is $5.

After breakfast there will be an autograph session at the church, beginning at 10:15 a.m. when fans can get autographs and have their picture taken with Carbo and former stars Larry Parrish, B.J. Waszgis (former Texas Ranger), Phil Clark (former St. Louis Cardinal), Gordon Richardson (a member of 1964 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals) and other former pro, college and legion players from the area. Parrish, who is now the Braves hitting coach, will give a hitting talk at 10:45 a.m.

The Old Timer's Game will be held at noon at the Baconton Charter Softball complex, where the admission is $3. The money raised goes to help the Baconton Charter baseball program.

Birdsong said Thursday that the game is open to anyone and he would like to invite any former area pro, college, or legion player to come out and participate.

"This is our fourth year and everyone enjoys it,'' Birdsong said. "It's fun to get the guys together, and we hope a lot of people come out. We think we'll get a (big group). We'll be in the church (for most of the day) and it will be comfortable.''