Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Ohio County Should Honor Oldham

The linked story above is to a piece by Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer columnists/sports editor Jim Pickens. The piece talks about Western Kentucky University's need to honor former player and coach John Oldham. I wholeheartedly agree. Currently Oldham's jersey is retired, but for a guy with the accomplishments that Pickens list, that honor is underwhelming.

But shift focus to Ohio County. Oldham graduated from the former Hartford High School where he was a force. He then went to WKU where he was an All American in 1949. He played for two years for the Ft. Wayne Pistons. He guided WKU as a coach to the Final Four in 1971, beating UK in the tournament.

What has Ohio County done to honor Oldham? A park. No, a rundown shell of a park that doesn't even have a basketball goal named for the best basketball player to ever come out of the County. That's ridiculous.

Much like Ohio County basically ignoring former MLB SS Ray Chapman, OC has chosen to ignore a sports icon from the area. Why? Oldham and Chapman should be remembered and honored by Ohio County government as well as the high school. Anything less is embarassing.


Piccu said...

Even if the county decided to honor either Oldham or Chapman they would find some way to screw things up. Look at what a clustermess the whole Bill Monroe fiasco became.

You would have two competing groups out to sabotage each other and ruin any good thing that would come out of it.

As basketball crazy as Ohio countians are, you would think there would be some interest in doing something bigger for Oldham.

Bratch has already tried to mount some interest in Chapman to no avail, apparently.

If there was some money in it for the county I'm sure people would be scrmabling to do something.

BRATCH said...

The problem is you are talking about people that did great things a long time ago.

People today could care less about what happened 50 or 80 years ago. That's why people suck.

Travis said...

"People" I assume refers to the average Joes in the community. Fine, but how hard would it be for government or the school to put something together.

What about renaming the Ohio County gymnasium John Oldham Fieldhouse or something? What would it cost? Paint. That's it.

I guess having the Ray Chapman tournament is cool for the baseballers. It's too little, but at least its something.

But Oldham is 82, still alive, and still probably has several people who know what he did at Hartford High and especially at WKU.

Piccu said...

It still comes down to the dollar. If the county could make some sort of amusement park out of the legacys of the two best athletes in the county's history it would be done.

There is a "What's in it for me?" attitude when it comes to things like this.

Perhaps WKU correspondent T. S. Elliot should come out of retirment and write an impasssioned sports column. The week of the 29th is open in the OC Times News.

Travis said...

Does anyone even read that paper?
I might indeed pen a column on that subject.

Piccu said...

I believe that at least 4 people read it. I read it, although I only read one part of it.

They have a nice sports column in there, except it's too long.