Out On The Mudline

Next Step In Vick’s Baseball Career Was College

W. P. Sissell

As Mr. Conner Vick proceeded with the story of his father – he was talking from material put together by himself and his brother – it became apparent that the two men, especially Conner, held their father in high esteem.  Several times Conner repeated statements like; “He made friends with people easily, he could motivate other players.”

You can bet that other people were noticing the success of the various baseball teams in and around Batesville, Mississippi. Although I did not know the “Mr. Flint” mentioned in last weeks article, I do know and am friends with the later Flint family.  They all happen to be Methodists. Now in the days when farm boy Sam was finishing High School at Courtland Agricultural High School, pitching for the Courtland baseball team, winning state championships, money was not particularly plentiful in the hills of Mississippi and the Vicks were no exception to that shortage.  

Now most of the Vicks that I know are Methodists.  Which proffered full scholarship would you think Sam Vick (He was a Methodist at the time according to Conner) would accept—of course, one from Millsaps, although there were a number of offers.  

When Sam got to Millsaps all those qualities spoken of above prevailed.  During the baseball season they had to limit the batting practices almost completely—they were losing all the balls.  

During the regular season Millsaps beat Mississippi State, University of Mississippi, Mississippi College and Southern Mississippi, winning the state championship.

Sam played basketball and although not exceptionally tall he learned to “dunk” the ball.  He made the track team.  His Daddy got two Bamboo poles and dried them for Sam.  These poles gave him some extra leverage.  

The Scenery Changes

  Athletically and in most of his other courses at Millsaps Sam was doing great.  There was one course that gave him some trouble, Bible—he failed the course. Coach Noble at Mississippi State wanted him to come to State and Sam finally agreed, although he  was getting  other offers.  

One of the other offers, one from Memphis, in time, became more attractive and so lucrative he finally gave in and signed a contract with Memphis (probably the old Memphis Chicks but I’m not positive on that).  Next week I’ll cover the pro career.

I had a call this last week from a young man who knew Mr. Sam well.  The young man worked with a commercial fisherman on Enid Lake. Their route to the lake went past Mr. Sam’s  and they stopped and visited many times.  He said Mr. Sam, loved fish and when they stopped by for a visit he would, during peach season, trade them peaches for fish.  Mr. Sam’s rock house is still out there on the Pope—Water Valley Road—if you would care to see where he lived.  

If you would like his story in more detail you might call his son Conner—he’s in the Batesville listings.  He and his brother have put together a book about their dad.  

Thank you for all your compliments. Our wish for you is a great week—and we’ll all be glad when this tornado season is over.

You can reach me most of the time at 23541 Highway 6, Batesville, MS 38606, wsissell@bellsouth.net, or 662-563-9879.

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