Robert Venters: Johnsonville Baseball in 1950
The following memory was shared by Robert "RJ" Venters about his time as a batboy for the Johnsonville High School baseball team, circa 1950:
I was the batboy for Johnsonville High in 4th, 5th, and 6th grade. In 1950, Delance Poston was 16 and the pitcher. Uniforms, numbers, and sock at that time were Blue and White. We were close back then. Delance was a big guy on the mound and had a very good fast ball. Was a very big center back then.
In my 3 years as batboy, John Louis Gaster hit the longest home run. Other players were Jennings Strickland (1st base), Manning Weaver (3rd base), Thaimer Adams (outfield) - there were more but I can't recall their names. Most of these guys have passed. Best pitching performance was at Timmonsville on opening day, 1951. Johnsonville went 0-0 until the 9th inning, they scored one to beat us. It was good - there must've been 130 pitches thrown.
The most unsettling situation happened when I was 10 years old and we were going to the big city of Florence. There was only one school in Florence at that time. The kids from the sticks playing big Florence (AA). AA were the largest schools in the state at that time. Little goose bumps, yes. We had the sponsorship to buy uniforms but not sure if we had numbers on the back then. But on our backs was the name W. Lee Flowers (merchant from Lake City). There was a large crowd and the local boys at a lot of fun at our sponsor name. They rode us all game long. Never had seen that before. Poor Delance - they were on him every pitch! We lost 9-2. Florence may have a lot of pretty girls but they had the poorest fans anywhere!