For the Love of the game
West Alabama Softball Hall of Fame enshrines new class
George Sylvester was inducted into the West Alabama Softball Hall of Fame on Friday, June 21, 2019. George was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a coach. He and his friend and coworker Ernest Washington were both inducted and had met at work at Partlow in the 1970’s and soon after they began coaching together with Alberta Seafood and MOVE and later Heatwave.
“Partlow had a team in a league, “Washington said,” and me and another guy were halfway doing the coaching. George had a baseball background when he started working there, and we just thought that was a fit. He came with all the knowledge.
‘We were sort of like “good cop, bad cop, George is particular about doing it right. It helped level it off. It worked out well. The girls soon realized it was all about reaching a goal.”
If the truth be told, George Sylvester was raised in a community where playing ball was like breathing air. It was in his blood and he studied the game by playing with some of the best coaches and players in the country. George was a member and co-starting pitcher on the 1968 undefeated Mobile County Training School baseball team. He reached starting pitcher status at Stillman College. He was selected Student Athlete of the Year his senior year.
The game of baseball is a head game. It is a game in which the best players understand strategy, discipline and goal setting. It is a mind game where being the best athlete would put your team in second place, if you become the lone ranger. George, better than anyone, understood that the best players were teachable by the coaches and other seasoned players. Players like his pitching partner, Edward “Moon’ Allen at MCTS high school. Yes, George played under some of the greatest coaches in the world. Coaches who themselves had coached players like Tommie Agree and Cleon Jones with the 1969 New York Mets champions. And those coaches played ball with greats like Willie McCovey, Hank Aaron and Billy Williams and his brothers and others.
Congratulations to my friend, Class of 1968 graduate, teammate and winning coach on this exciting achievement.