Botanic Bleu Market

Love of Baseball | Part 2

Sunday, June 9, 2024

A love of baseball and softball in our family began with my dad in the 1940s, an era in the United States when baseball was the only national sport. And the love of baseball was fostered in succeeding generations of my family to this day. 

By sharing stories and memories from five generations,
  • the current generations will gain insight into “where they came from”
  • I honor my dad and my siblings 
  • I share a slice of a small town Southern family with the world 

In Love of Baseball | part 1 I shared the stories of baseball and softball in two generations of our family beginning with my dad, Tom. part 2 of Love of Baseball is stories of generations three through five.

The fourth generation of our family never personally knew Tom, their great-grandfather. He died shortly after the first one of that generation was born. Yet, his love of baseball influenced all of their lives. 

And one great-grandson’s life continues to be influenced. 

Some of the following photos are watercolor versions to protect the identities of those pictured on the Internet unless the angle of the photo protects their identities.  

Love of Baseball 

through the generations

One of the great legacy’s of baseball is volunteer coaches for Little League summer games all across America where communities come together.  While there may be a few parents too intensely critiquing their children, the coaches, and the umpires, most people are simply enjoying family time together.  Dad’s coaching, mom’s bringing younger siblings to play with other players’ siblings, grandparents cheering and providing ice cream on the way home for everyone, and neighbors making lifelong friends. Along the way, parents are instilling valuable lessons that are the cornerstones for how to live. 

Dwight - grandson

the third generation


Dwight, is pictured, left to right, with his three sons, DJ, Dalton, and Dylan, after recently winning a golf tournament as a foursome team. As an adult, Dwight loves to play golf, and has had TWO holes-in-one in his life…. to date. 

My brother Tim had three children, Dwight, Nicole,  and Shannon. Nicole and Shannon didn’t play sports.  

Dwight played baseball, basketball, and football on Little League teams in grade school. Following Daddy Tom’s example, Tim coached Dwight’s Little League baseball teams and spent time instilling life’s lessons in the guise of playing. The most important lessons were you are loved and you are important to me.  

Dwight’s Granddaddy Tom was the one who took Dwight to his basketball games in school. Dwight has a legacy of basketball on his mother’s side of the family. His uncle Randy played basketball for the University of Alabama. 

Tim was in the US Air Force for several years, but when his next tour of duty had to be overseas, he chose to resign instead. A tour overseas would have meant being separated from his children for long periods of time. He put his family first so he could be with them on a regular basis. To be there for ball practice as well as games. 

DJ, Dylan, Dalton - Great Grandsons

the fourth generation

All three of Dwight’s sons were good at sports and especially baseball. 

Dylan began playing baseball at 6 years old. He played baseball in high school and was named on the All State team in Mississippi his senior year. As good as Dylan was at baseball, he chose to focus on academics in college and studied engineering. He now works as an engineer for a Mississippi municipality. 
Dylan’s mathematics abilities are also a family strength. Granddaddy Tim worked as a computer programmer for Marshall Spaceflight Center. Great-aunt Judy has a masters degree in mathematics and taught high school honors math. 

Dalton also started playing baseball at 6 years old. He played baseball in high school and was an All Conference player in high school. Dalton is a registered nurse and works in greater Memphis. 

DJ is the oldest of Dwight’s children and the one in the fourth generation with the greatest achievements in baseball and softball. He, like his younger brothers, started playing baseball at 6 years old and played on his high school team. He was an All Conference player.

He started college at a junior college where he played two years on the baseball team.

Coach DJ and his girl’s softball team huddled for last minute encouragement before starting a game. 

Upon graduation from four years in college he became a high school coach. Along the way, a colleague introduced him to coaching girls high school softball. Today he is head softball coach for a high school on the coast of Mississippi.

Great-Granddaddy Tom would be so proud of DJ coaching high school softball. Remember, DJ, his words of wisdom. Respect the umpire. No arguing. No bad language. No slamming down bats and gloves. Everybody plays. You win some; you lose some. 

And, my sister reminded me, he kept his sense of humor. One time, he sent a signal to steal instead of stay on base.  He laughed when he realized he had forgotten the signals and gotten them mixed up. I can see him now, laughing, shaking his head, looking down, hands on his hips. Remember, we all make mistakes. The important thing is what you do after the mistake. Learn from it. 

Grey, Ellis - Great-Great Grandsons

the fifth generation

Coach DJ has two sons, Grey and Ellis. They are immersed in softball already by attending the games their dad coaches.

Ellis is still young, but has Dad DJ and big brother Grey to teach him the love of baseball.

Grey is 6 years old now, but started learning how to play baseball at the early age of 2 years old with a plastic bat and ball.

STATS provided by Coach DJ
Grey - Class of 2036
Bats-R. Throws -L
Ht-2’11”. Wt- 28 lbs

Very promising, Grey. Your great-great-uncle Tommy batted right, pitched left, and was a great baseball player.

Grey is named Timothy Grey in honor of his great-grandfather, Tim, who routinely traveled over 5½ hours one way to attend games that DJ, Dylan, and/or Dalton played in high school and college. Tim had a special bond with his three grandsons and supported them by being there.

Coach DJ is teaching Grey all aspects of softball, including how to lay out the field and prepare the infield.

You have a bright future in baseball, Grey. A legacy of skill, good sportsmanship, and love of the game from four generations are part of you.

Batter Up!