Baseball Alumni unveils plaques recognizing Home Run champs, deceased Terriers

Right is Home Run Derby Champ Jon Michael Zimmerman and current head coach Neil Zimmerman with new Terrier baseball board honoring
past derby champions and remembering fallen Terrier baseball players.
William Byrd baseball alumni participating in last Saturday’s alumni game. Front row: (L to R)- Tommy Chambers-’97; Jon Michael Zimmerman-’09; Konnor Hamilton-’13; Cody Carawan-’15; Chris Carr-’94; Larry Light-’87; Neil Zimmerman-’99; Gary Walthall-former coach. Back row: Rodney Spradlin-’84; Brian Jones-’96; Matt Whitehead-’96 ;Easton Riggs-’12; Gene Riggs-former coach; Nick Baker-’03; Bruce Spencer-former coach; Andy Dewease-’92; Brian Spraker-’98; Mike Zimmerman-’70; Nick Jones- ’00; Donnie Zimmerman-’73; Ronnie Kendrick-’68. Not pictured in photo but in attendance, Coach Doug Pence. Also played in softball game but not home run derby were Chris Jones-’94 and Andrew Minnix-’09.

Twenty-two former Terrier players and coaches attended when the William Byrd Baseball team had it’s annual Alumni Weekend last week.

The emphasis was on “family” as the former players had lunch and a time of visitation in the hitting building with old scrapbooks and t-shirts to tell stories and a time where the kids played with their dads on the field. The class of 1967 had their 50th year reunion of the district tournament champs, as well as the 30th year of the building of Terrier Field; 25 years of Coach Bruce Spencer’s Dixie Youth State Champs; 25 years of the 1992 team that was 23-1 (still the best record in the valley); and the 20th reunion of the 1997 STATE CHAMPIONS.

The 28th home run derby had 13 players and Jon Michael Zimmerman was the champion for the second year in a row. He and Nick Jones put on quite a show. Jon Michael built a good lead in the first round and defeated Nick 56-49. Each hit 9 home runs out of 20 swings, many towering into the trees.

Z’man joins Jones as a 3 time champion, trailing only 4 time champ Chris Carr. Andrew Minnix was third as he edged out another former champ, Easton Riggs, for the top 3 by 1 point. Following the derby, we had a low key family oriented softball game where many laughs and good times were had. Sore muscles were abound on the following day’s golf tournament where we had 29 teams and raised over $ 4500 for the Terrier Baseball program.

A highlight of the week was the unveiling of a large alumni board recognizing past Home Run Derby Champs on one side and deceased Terrier baseball alumni on the other side. The board will be displayed during the high school season and possibly longer once a case is built for its protection from the weather and other elements.

The board was the idea of former Byrd coach Gene Riggs, and five of the past six head coaches in the past 35 years helped design and approve this new board.

“Even though our numbers were down this year with a host of conflicts, many of which involve coaching their own sons, a good time of smiles and laughter was had by those in attendance,” said former coach Gary Walthall.