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Former Union Players Return for Baseball Alumni Game

Jackson, Tenn. - 4/27/2002 - Union University hosted their second annual alumni baseball game and picnic. Former Bulldogs returned to play in front of a crowd of over 100 fans and fellow alumni. Saturday also marked the dedication of Fesmire Field in honor of long time Union supporters, Benny and Norma Fesmire.

After a few rain drops early in the morning, twenty-two players spanning 38 years(1963-2001) began to loosen up on Union’s newly named Fesmire Field. The oldest returning Bulldog was Jim Connor from the 1963 Bulldog squad. The other participants included: David Blackstock, ’64; Lynn Stranak, ’70; Gary Grisham, ’75; Andy Rushing, ’76; Tommy Sadler, ’76; Keith Frazier, ’79; Ronnie Giddens, ’83; Bart Teague, ’88; Steve Decker, ’89; Chris Ring, ’93; Donnie Bray, ’94; Craig Murley, ’95; Brent Fronabarger, ’96; Stephen Hall, ’97; Jason Sparkman, ’97; Ed Grammer, ’98; Jeff Rowland, ’98; Brandon Myhand, ’98; Johnny Katrosh, ’99; Eric Olexa, ’01; and Bart Lindsey, ’01.

The fans received a thrill when Jackson local Ronnie Giddens hit the games' first homerun over the scoreboard in left field. Giddens played on Union’s only World Series team back in 1983 and was drafted by the Red Sox after that season. Jeff Rowland, a former conference player of the year and current Huntington baseball coach, hit the games second homer with his famous ‘grunt’. The current Union Bulldog team and 2002 TranSouth regular season champions enjoyed seeing their two coaches on the field. They were more that happy to point out each little ‘goof-up’ by Coach Rushing and Coach Fronabarger.

All players really enjoyed the morning as they swapped stories of earlier days. Plans are to continue this excellent tradition for years to come. #DOGS#

Steven Aldridge
Phone: (731) 661-5027
Sports Information
Fax: (731) 661-5182

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