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Posted on: June 16, 2020

THE PIONEERS OF SOFTBALL | 06/16/20 |

Oaklawn Park Dedication

City of Mount Pleasant Recognizes Juneteenth with Oak Lawn Park Dedication Service at 6 p.m.

(En español)

Another hard day’s work, family dinner served, dishes dried and put away. Then off went the apron, and on went the softball glove.


This was the story of the Pioneers of Softball, some mighty fun and fierce women who lit up the Westside neighborhood for over three decades with the sounds of bats cracking, fans cheering and children laughing and playing.

“These were hard-working women who made the time to provide recreation, laughter, inspiration and discipline to the youth in the community through softball,” said City of Mount Pleasant Councilmember Jerry Walker, who was one of those children.  “There would be long evening games, and exciting summer weekends with 300 to 400 people coming from all over for the softball tournaments.”  

These Pioneers were Maurine Field, Dorothy Howard, Elizabeth “Cat” Johnson, Eunice “Sudie” Hill, Betty Smith, Imogene Garrett, Betty Jewel Finley, Jo Ella Thornton, Martha Raye Brown and Veoria Darden.

“Even when they grew too old to run, they’d go to bat and let the children run for them,” said Councilmember Walker. “They taught and inspired all of the children in the community.”

Also rallying the community around the softball and baseball for nearly 40 years were Wright Patman Johnson, Sr., who coached girl’s/women’s softball, and Joe Traylor who coached young men’s softball and baseball.

“These gentlemen did far more for the youth than just coach a sport,” said Councilmember Walker, explaining how Johnson would go from house to house to pick up his players in his truck for practices and games. “They instilled important life values and led by example.”

So it’s only fitting that on Juneteenth 2020, the City of Mount Pleasant honor these community legends with an Oaklawn Park Dedication Ceremony that will begin at 6 p.m. Members of City Council will participate in the program along with Minister Lonnie Charles Bell, Donna Cannon Smith and Senor Mangon, and a special plaque honoring these community legends will be unveiled.

“Everyone is invited to the celebration,” said Councilmember Walker. “We hope to have a big crowd while abiding by COVID guidelines.”

That means please join the festivities, wear your mask, plan to social distance and get ready to hear some amazing stories that will bring special meaning to Juneteenth 2020.

DOWNLOAD THE AGENDA FOR THE CEREMONY (pdf)

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La ciudad de Mount Pleasant reconoce a Juneteenth con un servicio de dedicación en el parque Oak Lawn a las 6 p.m.

Otro duro día de trabajo, se servía la cena familiar, se lavaban y secaban los platos. Luego se colgaba el delantal, y se ponía el guante de softball.


Esta fue la historia de los Pioneros del Softball, algunas mujeres entusiasmadas y feroces que animaban a la vecindad de Westside durante más de tres décadas con los sonidos de los murciélagos volando, los fans animando y los niños riendo y jugando.

"Estas eran mujeres trabajadoras que hacían el tiempo para proporcionar recreación, risas, inspiración y disciplina a los jóvenes de la comunidad a través del softball", dijo el concejal de la ciudad de Mount Pleasant Jerry Walker, quien era uno de esos niños.  "Habría largos juegos nocturnos, y emocionantes los fines de semana de verano con 300 a 400 personas que venían de todas partes para los torneos de softball". 

Estos pioneros fueron Maurine Field, Dorothy Howard, Elizabeth "Cat" Johnson, Eunice "Sudie"Hill, Betty Smith, Imogene Garrety, Betty, Jewel Finley, Jo Ella Thornton,  Martha  Raye Brown y Veoria Darden..

"Incluso cuando ya siendo ancianos y no podían correr, iban a batear y dejaban que los niños corriesen por ellos", dijo el concejal Walker. "Enseñaron e inspiraron a todos los niños de la comunidad".

También, reuniendo a la comunidad alrededor del softball y béisbol durante casi 40 años estuvieron Wright Patman Johnson, Sr., quienes fueron entrenadoras de softbol de las chicas’s/mujeres’, y Joe Traylor que entrenó softbol y béisbol a los hombres jóvenes.

"Estos hombres gentiles hicieron mucho más por los jóvenes que simplemente entrenarlos en un deporte", dijo el concejal Walker, explicando cómo Johnson iría de casa en casa para recoger a sus jugadores en su camión para ir a la práctica de juegos. "Inculcaron valores importantes de la vida y los guiaron con su ejemplo".

Así es que por esa razón la ciudad de Mount Pleasant celebra el Juneteenth 2020, en el parque de Oaklawn para honrar estas leyendas con una dedicación Ceremonial que comenzará a las 6 p.m. Miembros del consejo participarán en el programa junto con el ministro Lonnie Charles Bell, Donna Cannon Smith y señor Mangón, y se dará a conocer una placa especial en honor a estas leyendas de la comunidad.

"Todos están invitados a la celebración", dijo el concejal Walker. "Esperamos tener una gran multitud mientras respetamos las directrices de COVID".

Eso significa que por favor únase a las festividades, use su máscara, practique la distancia social y prepárese para escuchar algunas historias increíbles que traerán un significado especial a festividad de Juneteenth 2020.

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