Thursday, July 2, 2009

Minors celebrity

John H. Moss died yesterday. Okay, some of you -- heck, probably most of you -- are saying, "Who is John H. Moss?" Well, he's a celebrity. To me, anyway. Sure, you've heard about the passing of Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Billy Mays, Karl Malden, and, of course, Michael Jackson. And, each in their own way, were celebrities. However, I never purchased a single thing from Billy Mays. I never filled out an Ed McMahon envelope, though I did prefer The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson when Ed was there. I have owned just one Karl Malden movie (Patton). I did own one Farrah Fawcett poster. You know the one. And I owned two Michael Jackson LPs (Off The Wall and Thriller), but no CDs. However, I have a John H. Moss bobblehead. I have a John H. Moss baseball card. I have an autographed baseball, signed by John H. Moss. So, who is John H. Moss? He's the former president of the South Atlantic League. Originally the Western Carolinas League, the league changed its name to the South Atlantic League in 1980, resurrecting the name that the Southern League had used until the early 1960s. During his 50 years a president of the WCL/SAL, Moss guided the league into one of the premier organizations in all of baseball. When he retired, the league had 16 teams in 8 states. And I had the pleasure of attending his last game as league president: Game 3 of the 2007 South Atlantic League championship series. During his term as league president, many players that played -- or still play -- Major League baseball spent time in the South Atlantic League. I'd say that John Moss has had a larger positive impact on more people than any of the other celebrities you've heard about this week. To a minor league baseball fan, such as me, John H. Moss was a celebrity.

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