See Vince Staten’s article (below) from today’s Times-News.
As you may know, Larry Fleming is my brother. If you were a participant in this blog in 2003, you may recall my periodic updates and request for prayer. He was diagnosed at Easter and succumbed to esophageal cancer just before Christmas. Earlier the same year, Rick Slaughter succumbed to the same rare disease.
My family and I would very much appreciate your support to make this a successful event in Larry & Rick’s memory.
If you cannot attend the event but would like to make a contribution (any amount is appreciated), please write to email@example.com specifying the desired donation amount and I will make arrangements to accept a secure online credit card transaction (or other method of payment as desired).
Thanks so much for allowing me to be a part of this caring community and region,
By VINCE STATEN
Rick Slaughter and Larry Fleming were fast friends at D-B, playing baseball together for three years, Slaughter at second base, Fleming in the outfield.
Their senior year the team went undefeated in conference play, only to lose in the district finals to eventual state champion Tennessee High, a team they had beaten twice in the regular season.
They went their separate ways for college, Rick to Emory & Henry, where he became a Small College All American in baseball, and Larry to UT, where he earned a degree in civil engineering.
After college, Rick returned to
The two baseball friends, both of whom became successful businessmen and who never lost touch, died within weeks of each other in 2003. In fact, Larry was a pallbearer at Rick's funeral.
Rick and Larry will be honored at a banquet Jan. 14, the initial event of the Dobyns-Bennett Baseball Foundation.
Carl Cox, one of the organizers of the banquet, says the foundation has been set up "to support D-B baseball." That will include helping fund the John Whited Scholarship and providing financial assistance to the high school baseball team as needed.
Carl says it's only appropriate that the initial foundation fund-raiser honor Slaughter because he was the one who first suggested the Whited scholarship several years ago. Whited was D-B baseball coach from 1963 until leaving to take over as head coach of UT baseball in 1982.
It was after Larry's funeral that Carl, Tommy Rice, Jim Herbert and Brian Ritz began to talk about what they could do to honor their friends. Tommy says they talked about how "both were very successful and learned success on the baseball field."
That's when they came up with the idea of a foundation. Carl says the organization "will fall under the Kingsport Community Foundation, which is part of the East Tennessee Foundation."
The group has tried to invite all former D-B baseball players, but Tommy cautions, "Those records are hard to find."
The dinner is at MeadowView. The cost is $100 a plate, with proceeds going to the foundation. At the event Carl will talk about Rick, and Coach Whited will talk about Larry. John Williams will emcee. Tommy says the group hopes to attract 200 people.
Jan. 6 is the deadline to buy tickets. For tickets or information call Tommy at 282-3148 or Carl at 239-7888.