A reminder of the past
Johnny McCain (Johnny Mac) of Manila is known for his love of baseball. He has played, coached, and umpired games as far back as he can remember.
Jordan Goff was playing on the NEA East All Star machine pitch tournament at Monette on Sunday, July 14, when he found a baseball in the park area. He took it to his mother wondering why it was at Monette when it had Manila's McCain's name signed.
Ironically, the ball was from an all-star team that McCain had played on from a tournament held in 1980.
The only three names that could still be distinguished were McCain, Todd Pruett and Jeff Qualls. The ball was dated July 15, 1980.
McCain said he remembers that tournament very well. It was 107-108 degrees and his team played five games in one day to earn the District Championship.
McCain does not know how the ball got to the park after 22 years but he remembers the tournament well. All of the team members signed the ball for Johnny Houtch who was coaching their all-star team made up of players from different area towns.
He recalls other team members on the all-star team included Barry Scott, Chad Houtch, Landon Barrett and Blanden Barrett.