September 24, 2004
One recent Saturday morning as I was walking around campus I saw a group of guys playing baseball on Brown Field in front of the Reily Student Recreation Center. Not such an unusual sight, except for the fact that the leader of the group was 82 years old and many of his fellow players were in their 60s and 70s, including one who was 88 years old.
It turns out that these guys, who all have Tulane connections as either alumni, fans or past and present faculty and staff, have been playing baseball on campus every Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. for more than 40 years. The leader of this self-named “Field of Dreams Team” is Coach Ben Abadie, who played baseball for the Green Wave in the 40s, coached the Green Wave baseball team in the 50s and 60s and left a promising pro baseball career to return to Tulane as director of the intramural sports program, a position he held for 35 years.
Today, Coach Abadie is still giving his all for Tulane. His Saturday morning gatherings are an inspiration to both old and young alike. In fact, I wanted to join his “Field of Dreams Team” but he told me I was too young!
Coach Abadie and his crew may soon reach a wider audience. Tomorrow morning’s gathering, which will also be attended by the team members’ wives, will be filmed for possible use as a television documentary. Coach Abadie would also like to use the footage as a recruiting tool for students. He says the Saturday morning gatherings prove that the spirit of Tulane is ageless. I know I’m young, but I would have to agree with him.
Have a great weekend,
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