The best I ever saw
Staff - Editor

Take Me To Post Comment Form

One of the best few minutes I spent watching a high school game came just over 11 years ago.

I was working in Marietta and Lassiter, and Parkview were playing for the Class AAAAA state baseball championship. I had one of my writers, who covered Lassiter and also headed up our prep baseball coverage, at the game. I decided to slip out of the office to catch a little bit of the game.

I got there and the press was situated on top of the Lassiter dugout. The coach, Mickey McMurty, was one of the most cooperative and welcoming guys in the business, and a pretty fair baseball coach to boot.

What I really wanted to see was the Parkview superstar, Jeff Francoeur, in action. I asked what he had done already. Seth, my guy, Todd, then the sports editor at the Gwinnett paper and now its editor, and Michael from the AJC said he’s homered and doubled.

It was 4-4 in the top of the seventh inning of the first game. Lassiter trotted out a relief pitcher I knew nothing about and I asked Seth who this kid was and he didn’t know much about him either. Francoeur was leading off and we guessed that Lassiter would pitch around the star slugger.

The first pitch was low and away for ball one. We felt secure in our predictions.

The next pitch was just above the ankles, over the middle of the plate. It wound up smacking off a pine tree 440 feet away from home plate. Francoeur then pitched the bottom of the seventh for the save.

I left to go back to the office and in the nightcap, the Braves draft pick hit two more homers and got the win on the mound. That was four home runs, a double, six runs batted, a win and a save in the championship series of the state’s highest classification.

When I saw he was designated for assignment last week by the Kansas City Royals, even with the paltry numbers he’s produced over the last few years, it was still rather shocking. And from what Todd told us, the Francoeurs were as genuinely good as people as you would ever want to meet. The kid that was too good to be true was in fact true to the descriptions.

He has since signed on with the Fresno Grizzlies, a minor league team in the San Francisco Giants’ chain.

Francoeur is the best high school athlete I ever saw, and I’ve seen a lot, up to and including Champ Bailey, Boss Bailey and a three-time member of the U.S. Olympic women’s basketball team. I hope he gets back to the big leagues soon, because don’t you want someone who really does fit the good guy image to get rewarded every now and then?

Latest Activity: Jul 12, 2013 at 3:59 PM

Bookmark and Share
Forward This Blog
Print Blog
More Blogs by pdonahue
Send pdonahue a Message
Report Abuse

Blog has been viewed (694) times.

Log In to post comments.

Previous blog entries by pdonahue
A lasting memory of Coach Frank Kerns
August 04, 2015
I was barely 22 years old, still plodding away toward graduation and covering the Georgia Southern College men’s basketball team. At the time, they were under the guidance of the acerbic Frank Kerns, possessor of a deep voice that often ripped out profanities like a .50-caliber machine gun on full ...
Read More »
Currington to take the field in Atlanta
July 29, 2015
Effingham County’s own Billy Currington will be playing at Turner Field next week. His songs, that is. Currington will perform following the Braves-Marlins game Aug. 6, with first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m. Admission to the postgame concert is included with the ticket price, and tickets are available from $8-$78. ...
Read More »
Prescription drug take back with RPD
September 15, 2014
The Rincon Police Department will be taking part in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Sept. 27. People with unused prescription drugs can bring them to the Rincon Police Department on 107 W. 17th St. between 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a ...
Read More »
Consolidation talk starts to heat up
September 08, 2014
With the Insurance Services Office, or ISO, consultant working with the various fire departments in the county, could a consolidation of some or all of the departments be in the works? As Springfield Fire Chief Travis Zitterour said to his city council members Tuesday night, a new ladder truck is ...
Read More »
News and notes
August 31, 2014
The Hilton Head Island Packet has reported that the town of Hardeeville across the river has appointed former Rincon city manager Mike Phillips as its interim city manager. And if you live in or visit Lost Plantation frequently, two street names are about to change. Dressler Road will become Dresler ...
Read More »
[View More Blogs...]

Powered by
Morris Technology