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Rebel Bullpen Club History By Ron Borne

ron-borne-book-225x300Reminiscing through the many memories of Ron Borne, one close friend, John Morgan, national accounts manager for Invacare Corporation, found an email from his dear friend.

Borne had written a story titled “Rebel Bullpen Club History.”

Morgan said, “Ron sent me this last year. He was proud that he had put it together. Man, he loved Ole Miss Baseball!”

Rebel Bullpen Club History:

The idea for starting a Rebel Bullpen Club originated during a trip I took with the Ole Miss Baseball team to New Orleans and Baton Rouge during the 1980 baseball season. Jake Gibbs had indicated that a baseball support group, similar to that started some years previously by the basketball fans, could provide a previously unexplored source of support that would aid his program. The idea remained dormant until I took a trip with the team to Jackson to play Mississippi State on March 18, 1982. We again explored the advantages of this support group and decided to see if there was sufficient interest in Oxford to support such an idea. On discussing this idea with Ed Cardwell and Charles Henry, a decision was made to hold a meeting at Smitty’s Restaurant on March 22, 1982. Invitations were sent to 26 individuals. Those present for this initial meeting were:

Ron Borne
Ed Cardwell
Howard Duvall
Charles Henry
Art Kibbe
John Leslie
Will Lewis, Jr.
Bubba Moore
Ed Morgan
Willie Morris
Bill Tate
Pat Tatum

Coach Jake Gibbs was also present and discussed his ideas for a support group. It was decided that sufficient interest existed to support this program. It was suggested that the group adopt the name “The Rebel Bullpen Club” and that the club would meet on Monday mornings following Rebel home weekend series during the season. The first meeting was set for Monday, March 29, 1982 at the Holiday Inn following the weekend series with Mississippi State. Those present at the first official meeting of the Bullpen Club were:

Guff Abbott
Ron Borne
Ed Cardwell
Billy Ross Brown
Charles Henry
C.C. Holloman
J.B. Kelly
Glenn and Helen Kellum
John Leslie
Will Lewis, Jr.
Calvin McElreath
Ed Morgan
Jim Newman
Cohen and Nancy Renfroe
Bill Reynolds
Bill Tate
Pat Tatum

The club agreed to elect the following officers: Ed Cardwell, President; Ed Morgan, Vice-President; Charles Henry, Treasurer, Art Kibbe, secretary. Dues were set at $10.00 per year and a goal of 100 members was established. Ben Quintana, a Pharmacy graduate student, designed the Colonel Rebel baseball logo for the club. During the first year of operation, the club had 152 members and supported two cookouts for the team, sponsored a baseball banquet at the Sizzler, bought Seiko watches for the five senior players and manager, and sponsored the Scholar-Athlete (won by Jimmy Colmer), Most Valuable Player (David Clements), Ed McLarty Leadership, and Most Improved Player awards. At the banquet, Willie Morris presented the first Golden Shovel Award (an actual shovel which he and Billy Ross Brown designed and had painted gold) for the best defensive player (won by Andy Underwood).

Randall Haley is the managing editor of hottytoddy.com. She can be reached at randall.haley@hottytoddy.com.

Rebel Bullpen Club History, courtesy of John Morgan.

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