One Buddy Small - Fred ?· One spring evening fifty years ago, Buddy Small hit a baseball that his friends…

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    19-Aug-2018

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  • Onespringeveningfiftyyearsago,BuddySmallhitabaseballthathisfriendsandteammatescanvividlyrecall.Thishomerunisastandalonelegend.AgainstColumbiaHigh,attheoldLegionFieldnexttoZempStadium,Buddyturnedafastballintoatoweringdrivethateitherbrushedorclearedthelightsinleftfield.Anythingtravelingthathighandfastshouldhaveastewardesshandingoutpeanutsandcokes.TocelebrateBuddy'srecentbirthday,severallifelongfriendsandteammatesrecentlygottogetherforlunchatMad'sRestaurant.Themealturnedintoaseminaronlocalhistoryandzanycharacterswhoresidedhereinthelate50'sandearly60's.ItwasnicetobeinvitedbecausemyonlyathleticcontributiontotheseguyswasthatIprovidedthemawarmseatduringtimeouts.PopSmall,Buddy'sfather,coachedhiswaytoaHallofFamecareeratCamdenHigh.Hiscareerbasketballrecordofwinsandlosseslookslikeamisprint.PopwasanAuburngraduateandhiscontactswithhisalmamaterallowedyoungmenlikeFoyThompson,GeorgeBeleos,andErnestBakertheopportunitytoplayballandgetacollegeeducation.PopwasinstrumentalinestablishingtherecreationalyouthleaguesinKershawCounty.TheoriginalyouthfieldswerelocatedwheretheCamdenCityHallwasbuiltinthe50's.PopstartedBuddyatanearlyagelearningthefundamentals.PopwouldgetJohnandGeorgeKoumastocomecatchBuddy.Georgemusthavepaidattentionbecausehisgrandson,Forrest,wastheS.C.HighSchoolPlayeroftheyearin2010.TheearlybenefactorsofthelocalyouthprogramwerekidslikeHaroldRobinson,TommyCobb,BobbyRobinson,RichardAmmons,JimmyRoller,HenryTeam,andWillieMicklewhointhemidfiftiesplayedinthePonyLeagueWorldSeries.RobinRichards,whosefatherTomoperatedWACA,canrecallthatpeoplewouldcometotheradiostationandlistentothegamesonapublicaddresssystemasthegameswereplayedinPa.Thesesamekidslaterpulledtheextraordinaryfeatofwinningthestatechampionshipinfootball,baseball,andbasketballinthe5758schoolyear.TheRockettes,theCHSgirlsbasketballteamalsowonthestatechampionshipthatyear.ColorfulcharacterssuchasCharlesGriffin,BruceJackson,HenryDuRant,TommyMassabeau,andAndyDentonwereinattendance.AndyDentonwasridingonhisbicycleatthecornerofDeKalbandMillSteetswhenSpeaksOilCompanyexplodedandcaughtfire.Andyhastilybeganfuriouslypedalinghiswayhomeandbarreledoversomegentlemanwhowasrunningawayfromthefire.Thisgentleman'stumbleendedwithhimhavingabrokenarm.Andydidnotbothertostop.FortyyearslaterAndyoverheardthissamegentlemanrecountingthestoryofhowsomeyoungwhippersnapperranhimoverandlefthimwithabrokenarm.Hewasnotapriest,soAndystilldidnotconfess.CamdenHighfootballheroessuchasHoraceTurbevillewereremembered.ThereweremanyformerBulldogplayerssuchasButchLily,GeorgeandJohnKoumas,DavidIves,LettCarroll,andHarveyClarke.Thediscussionmostlycenteredaroundopponentswhostoodout.Someopponentswhocarriedaroundacanof'whoopbutt'andcouldleaveyouwithasnotballarealwaysremembered,althoughnotaffectionately.HarveyClarkewasthefootballcaptainin1962whenoneofthemostinfamousgridironincidentsoccurred.NeitherCamdenorBrooklinCayce'sfootballteamwereanygoodwhenweplayedthatOctober,butthebandswereoutstanding.Thestandswerefilledtocapacityforthehalftimeshow.TheBCbandtookthefieldasthesecondquarterwasstillbeingplayed.Oneofourtraditionswastorunthroughthegoalpost,soBuckPriestertoldustorunthroughtheband.ThebigdrummerwasstillspinningwhenIgotthere.Thehomefansbooeduswhenwecamebacktostartthethirdquarter.ThelocalsmetthatnightonthecourthousestepsandfiredPriesterasthecoach.HarveyhadtogoapologizetotheBCstudentbody.Inthelate50's,Buddy,JohnnyMcCarney(whohitover.500asahighschooljunior),JimmySutphin,andH.B.FloraleadalittleleagueteamtotheDixieWorldSeries.Twoyearslater,thissamegroupwithLarryRobinson,StanleyChampion,JoJoDenton.DavidIves,EarlRush,RobinRichards,andJimmyBohelortookateamofPonyLeagueallstarstoathirdplacefinishinaworldtournament.RobinandJohnnycanrecalltalkingwiththeCubanplayersaboutsomeguynamedFidelCastrowhowastryingtotakeoverthecountry.BuddywasagymratlikehisgoodfriendButchJordan.ButchandhissisterVeraAndrewsweretwoofthebest

  • playerstoeverletterinbasketballforthe'GoldandBlack.'ButchplayedatUSCandnowisaPhDprofessorathisalmamater.WhenButchwasplayingatCarolina,theyrantheMongooseoffenseandoneFeb.theteamwassixandoneintheACC,onlyonegamebehindthehatedDukeBlueDevis.Thecoachgotfiredandtheseasonwentsouth.WhenButchwasastudentatUSC,hegaveseveralofusasevereegodeflatingmoment.In1963,USCaskedRedLynchtosendBillyAmmons,ArthurHudson,BobLynch,RayRobinson,andmeonarecruitingtrip.Thecoacheswantedtoseeus'onthehoof.'WeputonourBulldogblazers,mettheplayersandcoaches,ateatthetrainingtable.andfeltsecurethatfourorfivecoedswouldfallinlovewithus.Wewerestrollingaroundcampus,feelinglikehotshots,whenfromoutofadormwindowButchyelledanoldCamdenHighcheer:BIGDOGLITTLEDOGFLOPPYEAREDPUPCOMEONBULLDOGSEAT'EMUPThankyouforyourattention.