The 1957 Albemarle American Legion championship baseball team will hold a fifty-year celebration at lunch-time on Saturday, August 18, 2007, at Ryan’s Family Steakhouse.
Joseph Ferebee of Pfeiffer College was the head coach, assisted by Charles Fortenberry of Mt. Gilead High School. Coach Ferebee, now retired, recorded more victories than any baseball coach in North Carolina history – 667 collegiate and 694 American Legion wins. Add to these his wins at Boyden High School in Salisbury where he taught and coached prior to arriving at Pfeiffer. Aside from his 1957 season at Albemarle, Coach Ferebee’s other Legion teams were all in Salisbury.
The 1957 team eliminated heavily favored Kannapolis in two games and Richmond County in three to capture the league title, before falling to Greensboro three games to one for the Area Championship. The team barely made it into the play-offs with a 9 win, 9 loss record. By play-off time, however, every batter was hitting the ball hard and every pitcher pitching at his best. According to his players, their progress was attributed to Coach Ferebee’s skill, tenacity, and determination to bring the best out in his players.
Coach Ferebee expected each player to play heads-up baseball, never to miss a signal, fail to back up a play or hit a cut-off man, always to run out batted balls at full speed and to arrive for each game in clean uniform and polished spikes. Coach Ferebee’s players benefited from his efficient batting practice procedures. One of his Pfeiffer players told him, “Coach, I got in more batting practice in one day with you, than I did in an entire season in high school.” That was true for many of his 1957 Legion players as well.
The 1957 team and Coach Ferebee will celebrate their Jubilee year with a social hour beginning at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday. At noontime everyone will enjoy a Dutch luncheon from the buffet, followed by a period of group conversation and perhaps some exaggerated tales. Family and friends, Legionnaires, young and old, and friends of American Legion baseball are invited to attend. The members of the 1940 World Champion Albemarle American Legion baseball team are invited as special guests.
Players on the 1957 Legion team were: Don Montgomery, 1st base, Albemarle; Ronald Barbee, 2nd base, Locust; Jimmy Turner, short stop, Norwood; Larry Dennis, 3rd base, Mt. Gilead; Franklin Capel, leftfield, Norwood; Raymond Morton, centerfield, Norwood; Buddy Caudle, rightfield; Aquadale; Les Young, catcher, Norwood; Pitchers – Jerry Thompson, Troy; Tim Huneycutt, New London; Ken Barbee, Locust; Larry Boles, Norwood; Carl Bell, Richfield; and Jimmy Haywood, Aquadale; and Richard Turner, catcher, New London; Jimmy Russell, outfield, Mt. Gilead; Jimmy Kimery, outfield, Norwood; and Bobby Deese, infield, Norwood. Monty Montgomery and Max Crisco were batboys, both of Albemarle.
Tony Morris, Athletic Director of Albemarle American Legion Post 76, said, “We invite young baseball players and their parents to attend. You will enjoy hearing Coach Ferebee’s remarks and meeting the 1940 World Champions and Coach Ferebee and his boys of ‘57. And, don’t hesitate to ask for autographs.”
Morris and Post 76 wish to encourage young baseball players to aspire to play American Legion baseball. To this end, the Post 76 baseball committee will be present during the 2007 Stanly County Fair to talk with prospective American Legion baseball players and their parents. Look for the American Legion baseball booth.
Published in Stanly News & Press, Albemarle, NC, August 16, 2007.