Star Tracking …
June 5, 2001
PHILADELPHIA Johnny Bench was no dumb jock when he played Major League baseball for the Cincinnati Reds. He doesn't think other athletes should be either. Bench was on the Choctaw reservation at Pearl River Monday to lead a youth baseball camp. In addition to teaching the skills needed to play the game, Bench also told the numerous youngsters on hand that the traits needed to be successful on the diamond are often those needed to be successful in life. Bench played 17 seasons in the Major Leagues, winning 10 Gold Gloves and being picked to 14 All-Star Games. He wound up his career with a .267 batting average with 381 doubles, 389 homers, 2,048 hits, and 1,367 RBIs. He also drew 891 walks.
June 5, 1997
JACKSON Mississippi State baseball coach Ron Polk informed his team today that he was resigning, ending months of speculation about his future. Polk planned an afternoon news conference to make public his decision, but the school's athletic relations department released a statement from Polk after a morning meeting with the team.
HATTIESBURG When Southern Mississippi baseball coach Hill Denson decided to resign, he had only one man in mind as his successor. Denson stepped down Wednesday, allowing former Meridian Community College baseball coach Corky Palmer to assume the Golden Eagles program, effective July 30. After tearfully admitting he had not achieved all his goals in his 14 seasons as head coach at USM, Denson said it was time for someone else to take the program to the next level.
The Meridian Community College Eagles have been busy on the baseball front recently. In the recent baseball draft, current Eagles catcher Chris Curry was selected in the 17th round by the Detroit Tigers. Curry led MCC in 1997 with a .388 average at the plate. He hit 10 home runs and drove in 55 runs. Former MCC standout and current University of Southern Mississippi catcher Braxton Whitehead was selected in the 14th round by the Cincinnati Reds. Whitehead hit 26 home runs during his stay at MCC.
June 5, 1992
This weekend when 36 of the top Mississippi private school baseball players gather for a three-game All-Star series, there will be tons of pressure. But then again, there won't. Thoroughly confused? There isn't a state championship title hanging in the balance. But there will be scouts from professional teams and various colleges in the crowd. Every player will want to show their stuff. On the other hand, there's nothing at stake in the games except a little pride.
Sports Faces …
Leo Potvin loves sailing. Not only that, he was considered the life of the party at the State Games of Mississippi's sailing competition this past weekend.
Potvin and his crew of Janice and Leslie Potvin took home a silver medal for the cruisin' class on a wind-challenged Okatibbee Lake course on Sunday.
The State Games is just one of many competitions for Potvin, who lives in Petal, and his boat.
But Potvin also loves the State Games.