Simpson Memorial Ballpark Dedication
17 July 2004 

It’s Official… Briceville Park is open for business and at 89 years of age, Mr. Owen Bailey is still the best ball player in the holler.  On a beautiful Saturday morning, the first ball game was played on the field after 46 years of neglect and two years of restoration effort.

Rev. Roy Daugherty served as Master of Ceremonies for the dedication.  Ms. Mildred Simpson Curnutt and Ms. Betty Poore unveiled the memorial wall on the new picnic pavilion.  Use of the land for the park was donated by Ms. Curnutt in honor of her father, Brit Simpson, who built the park in the 1930’s.  A portion of the memorial wall also pays tribute to the firefighters of the community, including Mr. Robert Glen Poore, who died while on duty in 2002.  Glen was instrumental in organizing the effort to restore the old park.

After speeches by dignitaries, Mr. Bailey officially opened the park by throwing out the first pitch.  He threw a strike, but it was so fast he had to do a “re-take” so the photographers could record the moment.  Like the first pitch, Mr. Bailey threw another strike to start the game. 

Mildred Simpson Curnutt and Betty Poore
unveil the "Memorial Wall"

Click on images of the day to enlarge:  
Barry and A.J. get warmed up

Carl Leinart,(Center) original ball player from the park's heyday

ABC affiliate WATE-TV's Garrett Gooch captured the day.  By the way girls, he is new to Knoxville and is looking for a date.  Pretty cute...may be a little shy. 

Ok, who's on first?
Let's eat! Safe at third!
Pitchin' horseshoes... Mrs. Curnutt and her family
Ovie tries to steal third base
Richerd, Barry and Jonathan
Glen Poore's family at "Memorial Wall" Free pony rides Just a cute "Tom Boy"

More links to the park restoration project

Story and photos in the Clinton Courier News

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