DOODLES AND THE 1955 CANNON STREET ALL STARS

Not often are we privileged to meet a person who epitomizes greatness, but I was so honored some thirty odd years ago, when I met someone whom I would describe as a “righteous” man. I am not talking about DH (although he is wonderful!), I’m talking about his father, my father in law – Mr. Lee James Bennett, Sr….
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Upstanding, principled, moral, ethical, an honest caring human being.  He spent 90 years walking this earth, sharing his time and his talents more than anyone I’ve known, until December 2012. His worldly departure was felt by hundreds, but his legacy will forever be alive in so many ways.

During the span of the 50’s era, my father in law probably had no idea, as one of the coaches of a Little League Baseball Team in Charleston, SC…
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…he would be a part of Little League Baseball History…
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*Excerpts from the book LET THEM PLAY written by Margot Theis Raven…

Segregated South Carolina, 1955 – the all-black Cannon Street YMCA All-Star team hoped to play in the state’s annual Little League Tournament. What should have been a game between children became a segregated quagmire when adult prejudices led all the other teams to pull out of the program rather than play against the Cannon Street All-Stars…

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*Forty seven years later, fourteen of these men boarded a bus in Charleston, SC headed for the 2002 Little League World Series championship in Williamsport, Penn. One of the 1955 Cannon Street catchers borrowed a bat from an eight year old Little Leaguer. A pitch came to him. He hit the ball like a cannon shot. It soared over the home run wall as he rounded the bases, high-fived and cried, tears flowing down his face and his teammates’ for the boys they once were and the fine men they had become…
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It’s 2013 and four of these men are on their second goodwill trip to Washington, D.C. With various tours and a visit to the Children’s National Medical Center, the former players would be honored on the field prior to Friday’s New York Yankees-Washington Nationals exhibition game (March 29, 2013) at Nationals Park. DH was speechless when he received the call to join them as his father’s “official representative”
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I was dumbstruck when the All Stars said their trip to the Washington DC area wouldn’t be complete without a picture with – you guessed it – those “Groovy Goldendoodles.” Elated to oblige, we caught up with them on Monday at Union Station…
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…right after their tour of the U.S. Capitol. Yes, we brought “Wilson” along too….
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With a promise to Mrs. Virginia Ali, (a community icon, along with her husband the late Ben Ali) the All Stars returned to one of our Capitals famous landmarks: BEN’S CHILI BOWL where they presented her with a framed photo of the team…
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…to be prominently displayed on the restaurants wall of fame…
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And Harley & Leo participated in the presentation!…
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C. Howie Hodges II – son in law to the late Atlanta Mayor Maynard H. Jackson was on hand to celebrate and witness the presentation with the All Stars…
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It was a “good day” for everybody!

The Boys? they’re always ready to go downtown, they have such “pawsome” experiences meeting new doodle lovers…
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DH? Days later he’s still smiling –  could it be because he met “Screech the Eagle?”
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The 1955 All Stars? I’m sure they will cherish this trip like all the other wonderful moments they have been afforded, allowing them to tell the story…
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And me? “Collar me flattered” to be able to tag along and share just a snip-it of a man I’m so proud to have known!

Love you daddy…
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