LHS#039;s Parks to pitch for Barons in ESPN re-creation

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 25, 2006

Andre Parks, head varsity baseball coach and history teacher at Luverne High School, will pitch for the Birmingham Black Barons as they play the Bristol Barnstormers out of Connecticut on Sunday, February 26.

Coach Parks, a graduate as well as a baseball star at Luverne High School, played three years for the UAB Blazers where he was named All-Conference USA.

He was also a two-time Conference USA Pitcher of the Week in 2001.

Graduating from Luverne in 1997, Parks played baseball for Central Alabama Community College at Alexander City before moving to the Birmingham Blazers.

While at UAB, Parks participated in a special program called ROAR (Reaching Out As Role Models) where he and other star athletes visited city schools working with problem students helping them to build self-esteem, make wise choices, and achieve academically.

&#8220Coach Parks is one of LHS's finest students.

Not only did he excel in the high school sports for us, but also he achieved his college diploma,” said Coach Chuck Alford, Parks's coach at Luverne and now assistant principal at Luverne School. &#8220Having Andre and his family, Tanya and Jordan, here at Luverne are blessings for your children and mine.”

&#8220I think it's a great opportunity to highlight the achievements and sacrifices of the men who played in the Negro leagues which give people like me the opportunities that I have today,” stated Coach Parks. &#8220It is a great moment in my life to re-live baseball history, and it is an esteemed honor to pitch from the mound where &#8220Satchell” Paige hurled all those strikes.”

Televised on ESPN, the production is a re-creation of one of the many 1940 exhibitions which were played throughout the South. The Birmingham Black Barons will represent the famous Negro League team of the same name, and the Bristol Barnstormers will represent the all-white all-star team from the North.

Wearing vintage uniforms and using 1940's equipment, the players celebrate the rich heritage and traditions of the Negro League clubs and the Major League All-Star teams as they play at Birmingham's Rickwood Field, the oldest operating ballpark in America.

Baseball greats like Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Pie Traynor, Satchell Paige all played on this Birmingham minor league field.

Titled ESPN Classic Vintage Live: Negro League Baseball, the game will be broadcasted on ESPN Classic at 3:00 P.M., Sunday afternoon. Tickets to the exhibition are available at Rickwood Field on the day of the game, or they can be purchased at the Hoover Metropolitan Stadium by calling Paul Melvin (media relations) at 1-860-766-9581.