10/19/12 — Lawyers beat docs at club's fundraiser

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Lawyers beat docs at club's fundraiser

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on October 19, 2012 1:46 PM

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Attorneys Michael Woodard and Abbie Williams cheer on their "Sharks" teammates during a fundraiser softball game for the Boys & Girls Club Thursday night. The local lawyers took on the "Quacks," comprised of local doctors, nurses and other medical providers, to raise money for activities at the club.

The Cardinals and the Tigers have nothing on the "Sharks" and the "Quacks."

Not familiar with the latter two teams?

Perhaps because it's been a few years since they dusted off their jerseys and picked up a bat.

But if you drove past the Boys & Girls Club Thursday night, you would have seen the lights on the softball field lit up and the stands filled with spectators as the two teams went head to head.

Local physicians and lawyers volunteered to participate in the "Play Ball" event, which was a fundraiser for the teen center at the club on Royall Avenue.

The six inning game was over in an hour, but it was fast-paced and fun.

The doctors won the coin toss and took to the field first.

But the attorneys' team swept the night.

In their first at bat, District Attorney Branny Vickory hit a double. Then Judge Arnold Jones popped a fly ball into right field, bringing both Vickory and himself home.

"I want to see this game. This game is interesting," said Michael Reid, 12, when his grandfather, Jeffrey Ruffin, told him it was time to go home.

"Coach Jeffrey," the name embroidered on his shirt, works with the Pop Warner and Boys & Girls Club football team, on which his grandson plays running back and linebacker.

The game's umpire also gave a show of his own. Ricky Crumpler, it should be noted, is in the American Legion Baseball Hall of Fame.

"When it gets to be 50 to 50, let me know," Crumpler quipped soon after the game began.

The "Strike Eagle Medic" players -- ringers from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base -- proved to be contenders on the doctor's side, especially power-hitter Mike Jenkins.

"Dr. (Chris) Hayes did a great job of getting the base involved," said Rick Sumner, president of the Boys & Girls Club board and organizer of the event.

"Hey, Mr. Ump, can you give us a score?" shouted Kirk Keller from the stands.

"Too much to too little," Crumpler replied.

Ironically, the premonition foretold of what was to come -- a 15-3 victory for the local lawyers.

Geoff Hulse, attorney with Haithcock, Barfield, Hulse and Kinsey, was credited with introducing the fundraiser idea.

"This event we did start years ago as a Girl Scout fundraiser," he said. "We did basketball games.

"It became manifestly unfair because every year (lawyers) would pop a hamstring and not one lousy doctor was getting a speeding ticket."

Introducing his roster, painstaking effort had obviously been made to label most with the appropriate moniker -- Jason "The Babe" Blackburn, Adrian "Iron Man" Lapas, Matt "Silver Fox" Delbridge, Stephanie "Beep Beep" Horton, Abbie "Duplin Doubler" Williams, Sarah "Sneaking Home" Heekin, John "Ram Tough" Agner, Michael "Iron Mike" Woodard, Curtis "Golden Boy" Stackhouse, Will "Never Bland" Bland, Charles "G-Man" Gurley, Tonya "Close Shave" Barber, Gene "Col. Angus" Britt and Branny "Big Dog" Vickory.

Included on the doctor's team were Peter Roethling, Chris Hayes, Mike Jenkins, Sarah "The Fireball" Lindsey, Justin "I do not want a nickname" McKenna, Sheila Jo Davis, Shane Hoover and Bryan Geer.

Approximately 175 turned out for the event, which also featured dinner and a message from Anthony Teachey, teen director for the club and former Goldsboro High School basketball star who went on to play for the NBA.

"It was a great turnout for the first-time event," said Mary Ann Dudley, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club. "It was a great crowd and we wanted it to be a laid back kind of event and I think that worked out well."

Tabulating preliminary figures afterward, she said the club will probably net close to $4,000.