The new exhibit at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Museum pays tribute to Louisiana’s Special Olympics. Celebrating their 50th anniversary, JT was quite impressed with the displays and memorabilia. As he walked through the exhibit, he couldn’t help but recall the leaders of the Special Olympics in Natchitoches Parish.
A couple of exceptional families really catapulted Special Olympics here and all three had children that participated in the programs. Beatrice Antoon was among the first to lead the Special Olympics movement here while the late Virginia Baker, who along with her husband owned and operated Barker Printing were heavily involved. Another was the late Mary Ann King and her husband Wayne whose sonm Michael, participated for years and years. Patricia Rhosto now leads the local effort. Even with those leaders, Special Olympics would not happen without the mass of volunteers that have graciously offered their time for the local athletes.
JT got a kick out of reading the article submitted by a reader a week or so ago about the “entertainment” (from fans and players) at the T-Ball Park. Then he read a story in the New York Times about an executive with the Astros who was assigned to the minor leagues to live the life and experiences of a player.
Here’s a guy that sits behind a desk, is a former NASA researcher, who is at the forefront of baseball’s statistical revolution. Sid Mejdal is an integral part of management, who opted to spend a season in the minor leagues. This baseball executive put a spin on it that many coaches, families and fans need to remember. JTs paraphrasing it but he pointed out …It’s boys, girls, teenagers and grown men playing a game in the dirt; it’s not curing cancer. On the major league level, he contends, it’s certainly much more critical…because it’s their dream.
However, on the younger children age levels…he’s spot on.