Tournaments require lots of behind the scenes work

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 12, 2000

After a full week and a half, I have started to have a new appreciation for the amount of work that must go into putting out a newspaper.

When I last wrote for the paper as a fire fighter and paramedic, I simply put one or two articles in each week, and they were placed in the paper for me, and I had nothing else to do except write.

There is a lot more magic to it than that, and I have been getting a crash course in all of the steps involved.

First off, there is the difference in computers:

I have plenty of experience with IBM compatible systems, and do repair work on them.

The newspaper industry, however, is built on Macintosh systems, and that is like learning to walk all over again.

The good part is that I have a good instructor in Derek Brown, and he understands the differences that I am having to learn.

I don't think that there could be a better way to learn to get with the program than to dive in head-first.

Practically everything that I have done in my life has involved such.

What makes my job so much fun is that I get to attend and report on sporting events, which are usually only attended by folks looking for entertainment.

So you might say that my job is to have fun, and then report about it.

I have spent the last week watching the Dixie Minor Baseball All Stars Tournament, which I would say is

some of the best kids' baseball I

have ever seen, put on by some people who are really professional.

I don't think who the average person can appreciate the amount of time and effort that goes into putting on a tournament of this magnitude.

While most know that the City Parks and Recreation Department is run by Director Jerome Harris, I doubt if you are aware of the amount of donated time that goes into our youth programs.

First there are the coaches, that donate their time and talents to encourage and guide the players.

The coaches all work full-time jobs elsewhere, and usually leave their jobs in the evening to come straight to the ball fields for practices.

They, of course, have support teams. By that I mean spouses and other children that pick up the slack around the house, while the coach is at the field.

The family members also make up a large portion of the cheering section you hear at the games.

But then there are all of the other people that are volunteers.

You have junior managers, statisticians, and bat-boys, equipment carriers, and others that help out just because a need exists.

At each ball game, there are a group of people that sits behind the plate, protected by the backstop fencing in that area that is roped off for "authorized personnel only".

This group is known as the "protest committee", and their job is to observe the rules enforcement of the game, and whenever there is a disputed umpire call, the protest team is called upon to make a decision.

The protest team is comprised of people from both sides, so that there is an impartial judgement called each time.

I had the opportunity to sit with them while I was covering the tournament, because in all honesty, they have the best vantage point of the entire field, and I was able to get better photographs of the action from their point of view.

All the people involved with the tournament were very cordial to me, and eager to help whenever I had a question.

The coaches from all teams were friendly to me, and seemed interested in sharing their opinions with me, and I appreciate that as well.

After looking at all of Greenville's Parks and Recreation facilities, I would have to say that Day Memorial Park is the most fun facility to cover.

The view is great for all, the facilities are modernized and easily accessible.

There is adequate parking, and the grounds are spotless.

I recently saw the assistant director, Gregg Fuller, out there during the day, picking up trash from the grounds.

The city crews have certainly done a tremendous job with the surrounding area; the bush hogs, tractors, and Horticulture Department crews were out there every day in the area of the ball fields, applying their craft to make the area something that the citizens of Greenville would be proud to show off to visitors from other communities.

Living around the corner from the ball park, I can say first hand that I have seen all the work that transpired in preparation for the games.

Since this tournament has been completed, I will be moving on to other tournaments and sporting activities, and my assignment list is certainly full.

I just ask that the readers can bear with me as I grow into this

position.

There are many games and tournaments that were not covered, and I am trying to get them into the paper, and out to you as quickly as possible.

Having children myself, I know that when your child has done something of note, you expect to see it in the paper for your friends and family to appreciate.

With that in mind, I am recording events as they occur and back trail stories and events that have not yet been recorded, so that all may be put into print for your reading enjoyment, and satisfaction.

If I have missed anything, I ask that you either call me or drop by

here at The Greenville Advocate to let me know, and I will do my best to get it covered in the paper.