By RAHN ADAMS
Last week Timberley and I celebrated Labor Day right, by attending the Hickory (N.C.) Crawdads’ season-ending game at L.P. Frans Stadium with friends. Thanks to my month-old low-carb, low-sugar diet, I couldn’t enjoy a dog and a beer like many baseball fans, but the salad and water that I had at the Crawdad Café was just what the doctor ordered, literally.
The older I get, the more I love baseball. Now, before you quit reading because you need to go finish painting your “Keep Pounding, Panthers!” banner for our regional NFL team’s first home game, rest assured that I like most sports, played several in my youth on organized squads—football, baseball, basketball—and even coached high school tennis and basketball teams, earning conference tennis coach-of-the-year honors four times.
Admittedly, I myself wasn’t a star athlete—relatively few individuals are—and, in fact, I got cut from more teams than I made in high school. But that’s another essay for another day. As a child who would eventually grow to a towering 5-foot-9, my favorite sport was basketball, and I attended every home game at Salem High School in Morganton, N.C. Back then, my single goal in life was to be a Salem Tiger and play for coach Wilton Daves. As far as I was concerned, he was Dean Smith.
I loved those silky white jerseys with black numbers and gold trim, and the matching mid-thigh length shorts. My heroes were high school cagers Steve Garrison, Dickie Burnette, Al Steiner, Bobby Miller and Kent Poteat, among others. I celebrated when they won—like when Salem beat Oak Hill for the Skyline Conference tournament title—and I cried when they lost. It was a big deal for the nine-year-old me. Continue reading Where Have You Gone, Slats Ledbetter?