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Saturday, January 20, 2024

Bill Asberry was a Most Valuable Player


Looking through the Clinton County News from back in the day brought back a lot of memories of watching the Clinton County greats who played softball, but the one player I was looking for Bill Asberry.

The 1976 Albany Men's Softball League ended with Brown and Polston defeating J's Discount of Burkesville to win the Division A championship. Had J's won, Brown and Polston would have ended the season tied with Albany RC and a playoff would have been necessary. J's opened with a big inning but Brown and Polston came up with a seven run inning later and cruised to a 16-9 victory.

It was the first time in several years that Albany RC had been denied a champion­ship. When the winning trophy was pre­sented to Brown and Polston manager John E. Polston, he held it high over his head and shook it at RC manager Dowell Wallace, yelling, "Look here, Dowell!" The crowd roared.

The division's Most Valuable Player Award went to Bill Asberry of Brown and Polston. A golden glove outfielder and solid hitter, Bill's clutch performance helped Brown-Polston win the decisive game. Bill was a solid all-around player on the softball field and very valuable to his team. He an all-star player during his career. Other teams he played for were Royster, Albany Merchants and Albany RC. All of the old softball players talk about how great of a player he was.

In 1968 he played on Dowell Wallace's Albany Independent team along with Wayne Ryan, Sherman York, Steve Bell, Gary Thomas, Gary Farley, Gary Davis, Kenneth Conner, Jackie Amonett, Jackie McWhorter, Ray Guffey, Don Stockton, Ernest Cross and Wendell Burchett.

The 1973 Albany RC team included Coach John E . Poison, manager Dowell Wallace and players Bill Asberry, Runt Lowhorn, Bill Brown, Randy Brown, Ricky Wallace, Steve Bell, Jimmy Parrigin, Kay Flowers, Ken Con­ner, Donnie Poore, Jimmy Brown, Ronnie Guthrie, Gary Basham and Gary Farley.

In 1980, Terry White Ford went undefeated in 21 games. Coached by Rob Stockton and managed by Kay Flowers, the team consisted of Flowers, Bill, Charles and David Asberry, Steve and Tim Bell, Rick Wallace, Jimmy K. Brown, Tom Thrasher and Steve Lowhorn.

Bill was all about softball and baseball. Usually his teams won. The 1963 Braves baseball team he was on won the Babe Ruth league. The players were Bill Asberry, Gary Guffey, Jackie McWhorter, Jimmy Vincent, Gary Thomas, Dale Tallent, Eddie Luttrell, Don Tallent, Gary Tallent, Shelby McWhorter, JD Cooksey, Keith Conner, Preston Cook, Wayne Ryan, Junior Polston and Rudy Thomas. J B. Burchett, James Cooksey and Keith Conner were the managers.

Those are a sample of the teams Bill Asberry played on. There were others. Great memories for a whole lot of people. I love reminiscing about them. So many stories to tell. I can't wait to hear yours.

The memories of the old Poverty Park that was out by the high school are dear to a lot of people like myself. While there may have been very little funds to keep it running, the place was rich with good times. Bill sure did his part to make them enjoyable. I saw him awhile back at the grocery store. I said "how about a game of softball?" He smiled and said, "those were great days." Indeed they were.

Blene and Dean Asberry raised a great family in their Christian home at Pikeview, with Johnny, Bill, Jimmy, Ada, Charles, Danny K., Mary Dean and David....all well-known and loved by everyone. Pray for his mom, his wife, Connie, their children and grandchildren, and for the rest of the family and his many friends and his co-workers at Gaddie Shamrock, where he worked what would have been 51 years this coming April.

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