Hot Stove 2012
By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on January 31, 2012 1:46 PM
The beauty of baseball is that win or lose, every game has a story.
Several stories were swapped during the annual Wayne County Hot Stove banquet on Monday night at Lane Tree Golf Club.
Guest speakers Jerry and Johnny Narron delivered speeches and offered advice for all of the players, coaches and parents in attendance. Both brothers spent time in the major leagues as players and are now coaches in the Milwaukee Brewers organization.
"It is really going to be an honor to coach with my brother this season," Jerry Narron said. "He has been to the World Series (with the Texas Rangers) the last two seasons, I have been around the majors for 25 years and haven't been to one yet."
Jerry spent his playing career as a catcher for the New York Yankees, Seattle Mariners and Anaheim Angels. As a coach he has worked with the Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds and Texas Rangers. His first major league hit came off of Hall-of-Famer Jim Palmer in 1974 and his first home run came off Hall-of-Famer Dennis Eckersley.
"I would have taken 25 days in a major league uniform," Jerry Narron said. "As it turned out I have had 25 years and I could not be more blessed."
Johnny Narron followed his brother by going over what he learned as a coach with the Rangers during their World Series runs over the past two seasons.
"One thing I always told those guys was to remember that putting on a uniform is a privilege," Johnny Narron said. "No matter what age or skill level, playing this game the right way is what is most important."
The awards portion of the night followed as several local players were recognized. Southern Wayne's Kevin Wise and Charles B. Aycock's Jon Taylor shared the Jerry Narron Award for most outstanding high school player. Eastern Wayne's Zack Mozingo claimed the Clyde King award and Spring Creek's Zach Harrell took home the George Whitfield award.
Eastern Wayne head coach Jabo Fulghum was given the Doyle Whitfield award as the area's top high school coach. Michael Stewart claimed the John Thomas award for his years of volunteer service to baseball in Wayne County.
Hot stove organizer and Eastern Wayne assistant coach Roger May also addressed the crowd. May's son, Jake, a catcher on the Eastern Wayne varsity team, has been battling leukemia for the past month and is currently undergoing treatment.
"I can't thank all the people in this room for all the prayers and generosity regarding my son," May said. "We have been very blessed for what the people in this room have done for our family."
Proceeds from the T-shirt sales at the banquet went to the May family to help with Jake's medical expenses.
"It is amazing to see how this night has grown over the past six years," May said. "We started out at the ECAP with about 90 people. We had to rent tables and chairs and pull the batting cages back so there was room to sit, so to see the amount of people who have come to support baseball in Wayne County is wonderful."
Proceeds from ticket sales at the banquet will go to promote youth baseball in Wayne County.