Find the inner sports writer in you. . .

Have you ever read a newspaper column or a website blog and thought: “Hey, I could do that!”

Now’s your chance.

Those of you who have visited our website — msfame.com — probably have noticed that if you put your cursor on “Rick’s Writings” across the top of the page, you also will see “Orley’s writings” and “Guest Blog.”

The guest blog is for you, both to read and write. The first offering — a fascinating piece on Dizzy Dean by Mississippi Valley State baseball coach Doug Shanks — is just what we want. That is, Mississippians writing about Mississippians or Mississippi moments.

Doug’s did both. I highly recommend it. Doug Shanks, who was primarily responsible for bringing Dizzy Dean’s memorabilia to Jackson, is not only an able baseball coach, but a fine storyteller.

This Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum belongs to you. It shows off what Mississippians do best, which is play ball.

This website belongs to you, too. Along with producing some of the greatest athletes in the history of the world, Mississippi also had produced some of the greatest writers and storytellers. My educated guess is that some of you never became famous or even became published.

So here’s the deal: If the mood strikes, sit down at your laptop and have a go.

Write about your greatest Mississippi sports memory.

Write about what you love about sports.

Write about your favorite Mississippi athlete.

Write about the time you swallowed your first chaw of tobacco at home plate — and passed out. I did that once. It was a lot more fun to write about than to experience.

Write about it — and then email it to me at: rcleveland@msfame.com.

I can’t promise you that all will be published. I can promise you that all will be read.

The Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum is your museum for the 21st century. This is your website.

Read us, bookmark us — and write for us, too.

I’ll give you just a sample. This was my most memorable Mississippi sports moment.

I was coaching my daughter’s 8-year-old softball team. We had lost the first game of a doubleheader on a two-out, game-winning hit in the bottom of the last inning. Our girls watched as the other team celebrated wildly. The other coach took the little girl who got the winning hit and put her on his shoulders. Her teammates were jumping up and down slapping her hands.

I looked at our girls’ faces and most were frowning. My daughter was smiling. I asked her why.

“I was just thinking how that girl must feel,” she said. “I was thinking what that must be like.”

So, we play the second game of the doubleheader and it gets down to the last out of the last inning and we are one run down and my Annie is at the plate. If you are a parent, you know what that feels like.

She swung and missed twice. And then she lined a shot over the third baseman’s head, a walk-off hit. Her teammates mobbed her. The celebration went on and on. Her smile is framed, forever, in my mind’s eye.

It was a moment.

 

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