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Monday, Sep. 1, 2014

Your view: Baseball memories

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Thank you for publishing the picture in your 1/19/06 edition of the 1945 American Legion Baseball Team. A friend of my sister sent it to her and she passed it on to me. The picture brought back many fond memories.

I was 13 at the time and the "older" boys were my heroes. It was a good team and qualified for the playoffs - we played in Sportsman Park! Unfortunately, we lost but it was a lifetime memory.

My memory has faded, but I don't remember traveling in a bus - I seem to remember traveling in the back of a large truck with high side rails or in individual cars. I don't remember all of the players but many also excelled in basketball, football or both.

Some of these were Wayne Limbaugh (my hero at that time) also an outstanding basketball player. Dick Inman was a tough football player. Earl Boardman and Jack Mitchell excelled in both. Coach Sexton is remembered as a "leftie" with a mean curve ball and a wad of tobacco in his jaw. "Slim" Limbaugh was a wonderful man who loved baseball. He gave generously of his time to teach young men to play and love baseball.

Early on he taught me a lesson which I have carried with me all my life. We were losing a game by a sizeable amount and had one out in the bottom of the ninth. As batboy, I started cleaning up and putting the bats away. He let me know that you NEVER put the bats away until the final out.

Many years later Yogi Berra became know for his "it's not over till . . ." quotes. Slim was way ahead of Yogi with "you don't stop swinging until the final out."

I last saw Slim in 1999, when macular degeneration had taken its toll on his sight. But he still had the same warm, outgoing spirit that endeared him to all who knew him.

May God rest his soul.

Thanks for refreshing my memories.

Sincerely,

Bob Walker

aka "Billy Bob"

Lake St. Louis, Mo.