HAMMOCK: New location for Norcross Baseball Hall of Fame

Photo by Brandon Brigman

Photo by Brandon Brigman

Norcross to celebrate baseball history at Sunday event

It was probably a decade or more ago when I first visited the Norcross Baseball Hall of Fame, then a pretty quaint display in the front of an art museum.

An old wool uniform hung on the wall. A few glass-front cabinets, cramped into the small space, showed off old newspaper clippings and other memorabilia. The history showcased there was pretty impressive, but it seemed a bit out of place and difficult to find, more hidden than it should have been.

Five years ago, the hall of fame relocated to Norcross City Hall, a more fitting venue that at least had more frequent and diverse traffic in front of it.

Now it's on the move again.

The new location, hopefully the final one, is in the Norcross Welcome Center at 189 Lawrenceville Street, still within the heart of Norcross' downtown area. It will be celebrated this Sunday at 2 p.m. with an event dubbed the "Third Grand Opening," which gives the hall's organizers a chance to show off the new space and unveil a few new exhibits.

The Norcross Old Timers Baseball Association, headed up by Carl Garner Jr., has made its mission to preserve the town's considerable baseball history and has done a great job of that over the years. Garner grew up playing baseball in Norcross and his father played with some of Norcross' successful teams in the first half of the 20th century, when the baseball-crazy city produced loads of talent, including major leaguers Red and Ivey Wingo, and Roy and Cleo Carlyle.

Through Garner, I've had the pleasure of learning about life in Norcross and the role baseball played as the city's main form of recreation for years. He introduced me to some others who had equally enthralling stories, guys like John Adams and Troyce Cofer, who both have passed away since our interviews.

The talks with those folks still are some of my favorite times on assignment in my 15 years at the paper. I enjoy history and I felt fortunate to learn more about the history of Norcross baseball.

Do yourself a favor and get a taste of it yourself at the Norcross Baseball Hall of Fame. If you go Sunday, you'll get a chance to talk in person with Garner, too. I promise it will be worth your time.

Will Hammock can be reached via email at will.hammock@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Thursdays. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/willhammock. For Hammock's blog, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/willsworld.