‘Scrappy’ Broome kicks off weekend of baseball in Vicksburg|[7/7/06]

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 7, 2006

In college, Randy Broome was nicknamed &#8220Scrappy” because of his willingness to do anything to help the team.

He’s now carrying that over to his coaching life.

After ESPN baseball analyst Jeff Brantley and former major league pitcher Jay Powell were late cancellations for the Cal Ripken State Tournament banquet on Thursday night, Broome stepped up to the plate.

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The tournaments, which will last all weekend, began this morning at Halls Ferry Park. Broome told a gathering of more than 500 at Crawford Street Methodist Church the values of playing as a team.

&#8220A baseball team is made up of individuals but what makes a successful team is what are those individuals doing every day that will make us a better team,” Broome said.

The Warren Central coach said he was fortunate to be a part of two special teams. The Baton Rouge native played on the first Junior College World Series team from Meridian Community College in 1993. The team was coached by current Southern Miss coach Corky Palmer.

&#8220Unity is one of the most important aspects of a team. We were unified,” Broome said. &#8220The team at Meridian in 1993 had a lot to say about the importance of unity because we were not the most talented team.

&#8220We had a couple of guys go D-I, most went D-II, like me to Mississippi College,” said Broome who referred to himself as being a &#8220No. 9 hitter who could spray the ball around.”

A second special team for Broome was Warren Central’s 2001 club that won the Class 5A state championship. Broome was an assistant on that team that finished ranked 4th nationally by USA Today and featured current major league pitcher Taylor Tankersley.

&#8220We went 36-3, won the state championship and were ranked fourth in the nation and second in the south by USA Today,” Broome said. &#8220We had some talent. Taylor Tankersley went 14-0 and he’s now with the Florida Marlins and Carl Upton, Marshall’s son, was 12-0 and is at Mississippi College. Brian Pettway was also on that team and he’s now in pro ball, as was Joey Lieberman who’s now at the University of Memphis.

&#8220What those guys had was a tremendous work ethic. And they wanted to work because they loved it.”

And most of that team played on the same Halls Ferry Park fields that these youngsters will roam this weekend.

The tournament, which features a 9-10-year-olds’ division and an 11-year-olds’ division, will conclude on Monday or Tuesday.

The 10-team, 10-year-olds’ tournament began today at 9 a.m. with state power Meridian taking on Bay St. Louis on Bluff Field. The host Vicksburg Mudcats met Jeff Davis at 11 a.m. and the winner of that game advances to a 7 p.m. date with Orange Grove.

The 11-year-olds’ tournament features nine teams. The host Mudcats played Booneville at 10 a.m. with the winner advancing to a 6 p.m. game against East Central. Both tournaments are double elimination.

Tournament Director Marshall Upton announced during the banquet three recipients of the first-ever Vicksburg Baseball Association scholarships.

The honorees included Vicksburg High pitcher/outfielder Avery Mathes, Warren Central’s Porter Holliday and Porters Chapel Academy’s Dan Ivey. All three players played in the VBA.

Mathes, an 11-year vet of the program, has a scholarship to Copiah-Lincoln Community College. Holliday will attend Mississippi State while Ivey, who helped PCA to the MPSA Academy A baseball title, is going to William Carey College in Hattiesburg.