For this installment, we head to Vernon where Jermaine Ferrell takes a look at the Vernon High School baseball field otherwise known as Jabe Brazzle Park.
In Vernon, when you talk about baseball Jabe Brazzle Park is a park that a lot of the Lions have played on for the last 18 years.
This park is named after a man who has done a lot for not only the Vernon community but for Vernon High School.
Brant Clifton, Former Vernon Head Baseball Coach------ "He was always a happy man, in the community and around the kids. he was just fun to be around. You would see him in the hallways. He might be singing a song. Always talking to the kids. In the community he was the same way. You didn't want to go anywhere with him or you were going to be there for a while.
Jabe Brazzle, also known as Tootie, was born in 1929, in Cleburne. After graduating from Texas College, he married his wife Jesse in 1952.
Two years later, Brazzle became an educator and coach in the Vernon ISD at the all black Booker T. Washington High School. He was one of the leaders in integrating the Vernon school system in the late '50s and early '60s...And throughout the years, he served as a positive role model to countless young people....
Including one of his former players and former head Vernon baseball coach Brant Clifton.
Brant Clifton, Former Vernon Head Baseball Coach------"Color didn't matter to coach Brazzle. He was just as hard on the African American players as he was on the whites or vice versa. There was not any since none of you are better than the other one. that is just how Coach Brazzle was. That is how I learned from him. You go by performance. I am going to treat you how you act."
Brazzle used his knowledge and experience from his days as a minor league baseball player and shared it with his students by re-establishing the Vernon High School baseball program in 1975.
And served as an inspiration to the kids he coached until he retired in 1990.
Current Vernon Head Baseball coach Robby Spenser says he gained a lot from being around Coach Brazzle.
Robby Spencer, Vernon Head Baseball Coach-------I enjoyed playing for Coach Brazzle and being around Coach Brazzle. He was a fun guy to be around. He had fun he enjoyed his job. He enjoyed young people. It was just fun to be around Coach Brazzle. Whether it was football or baseball.
When Brazzle was coach and for years afterward, the Lions played their home games at Kid League Park or Vernon College.
Then a committee was formed to build a baseball field at the high school.
After the field was completed, there was no doubt who the field would be named for.
In 1996 before the final district game, Vernon High's baseball field was dedicated as Jabe Brazzle Park.
Brant Clifton, Former Vernon Head Baseball Coach----------"To me there was no question, that man deserved and earned that right. not only for what he did for the kids in the community but for what he did previously for the people and for what he did."
Brazzle passed away in 1997 at the age of 67.
But Tootie's memory and the impact he had on so many people lives on at Jabe Brazzle Park.
Robby Spencer, Vernon Head Baseball Coach-------"When we play games or when we practice, it is just a reminder to play the game the right way. Enjoy the game and give it all you got. because you see his name there and that is what you associate with him."
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