Q: Uncle Jessie. How’d you get that nickname?
A: I was working at Emory Air Freight. It was mid winter in Ohio and I was pretty shaggy. A young guy called me Uncle Jessie and in a couple weeks more people knew Uncle Jessie then knew Rick.
Q: What bat do you use?
A: I usually use my Uncle Jessie Baller from Smacker Bats. But I also use the Jackie model Smacker.
Q: What positions do you play?
A: First Sack and Hurler.
Q: What’s your favorite moment from last season?
A: I have many favorite moments from last season–it was a summer for the ages. I’ll never forget fielding a wormburner and crawling to First Sack for the out in our very first game. Or the backwards, tumbling, skyscraper catch at Roane State. There was a line drive smoked back at me while I was hurling and I caught it and threw to Tick Tock at Third Sack for a double play against the Distillers in the playoffs. Watching Elder patrol the Left Garden was a spectacular feat and seeing Tick Tock join us at mid season and become one of the best teammates he could be was great. And who can forget being invited to take batting practice with the Sounds or representing the TaoVBB at Greer Stadium, in Chattanooga with the Lookouts, Bristol, Virginia with the Pirates as Captain of the West All-Stars, in Harvest Days at the Nashville Zoo, and at the Tennessee History Festival? Of course, winning the Regular Season Championship and being named MVP at the end-of-the-year banquet was a great honor.
Q: What are you looking forward to most this season?
A: I’m looking forward to finishing our march to the Sulphur Dell Championship. But what I’m looking forward to most is the addition of my son, Luke, on the Scouts this year. Playing with him as teammates is a dream come true.