The Backpage: The boys of summer, 1970 edition

Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 6:55pm

(Listed in alphabetical order) Charles Barnes, Nicholas Ganick, Keith Haynie, Ronald Lewis, William Middleton, Alfred Norris, Dennis Otto, James Paschall, Robert Potter, Mark Ramsey, Mike Raulston, Claude Slayden Jr., James Spurlock III, Jerry Wheeler; Head coach: Maurice Moffitt, assistant coach: Jim Cherry (Photo courtesy Keith Haynie)


Goodlettsville’s Little Leaguers qualified for the World Series this year, the first time in 42 years that a team from Nashville made it to the big game in Williamsport, Pa. That 1970 team, the Nashville Optimist Little League All-Stars, was made up of a group of mostly South Nashville kids who played near Shelby Park. One of them, Keith Haynie, was kind enough to provide us with this photo of the squad. He told The Backpage that a few things were different back then. Bats were wooden, and the team had an extra tournament to play in, traveling to Louisiana and Florida before heading to Pennsylvania. Oh, and it was single-elimination in those days, too, so they had quite an undefeated streak to make the World Series.

“I always pull out my album this time of year because I get nostalgic. Looking through there, we had a lot of extra-inning games,” Haynie said. When the team returned, Haynie and some of the players who attended Wright Junior High were treated like heroes. “It was kind of neat,” he said. “They made an announcement over the intercom.” Where are they now? Haynie works in the printing business and stayed close to a few of the guys, playing high school baseball at Glencliff with five of them.

“We’ve talked with Coach Moffett and tried to get a reunion, but can’t find them. They’re not on Facebook, either!” he said. If you happen to know where any of the squad below are, let us know by email here at We’ll pass the information along.

1 Comment on this post:

By: jwk6179 on 8/23/12 at 8:51

The Tennessean ran a story last week about the team and told a story about Coach Moffett that just tells us how much things have changed since 1970. It seem that Coach Moffett always kept a baseball, a bat, a glove and a catcher's mitt in his car with him. Whenever, he was out driving and he saw a couple of boys out playing in the yard, he would stop the car and asks if they were interested in playing baseball and then would procede to see if the could hit, catch and pitch. That was how, he stated, that he found boys for his team. And no one thought anything of it back then. Try that approach today, it would be all over the media and the coach would have been labeled a Pedophile. Just goes to show you how much things have changed in 42 years.