Aquinas Cavaliers Baseball Players Celebrate Reunion
Baseball players from the Aquinas Cavaliers teams of the 1970’s gathered at the home of Josie and Don Cox in Fairview, TN on Saturday, October 16, 2021. “It was a truly special evening,” remarked Josie Cox, “and I’m so happy everyone had such a good time seeing each other again and reminiscing over great memories.” Bobby Veach added, “I enjoyed seeing the guys I played with, meeting those who played after I left Aquinas, meeting their wives, and hearing their stories.”
A highlight of the event was the presence of Coach Bill Stover and his wife Amy. Stover coached the Aquinas Cavaliers baseball team for eight years, from 1973-1981. Addressing those present at the reunion, Stover remarked, “We had some good kids that were great athletes, but they were students too. I remember coming here and recruiting some of you, and you were worried about whether chapel was mandatory, because a lot of you were not Catholic. I told you, the Sisters are at every ballgame, and Father Dolehide is at every ballgame. I said, if you don’t want to go to chapel, that’s fine, you don’t have to–but they’re at every game. So most of you went to chapel, because you knew they were supportive of you. That’s the kind of people you are. Amy and I certainly appreciate all of the great memories, all of the good times we had over the years.”
Following Stover’s comments, Tony Perkerson expressed his appreciation to Coach Stover: “I thank you for taking on the challenge of doing the job you did. It was a lot of fun.” Many of the players enjoyed talking to the Coach about the ‘Good Old Days.’ Veach added, “It was a long time ago, but seems like yesterday.”
Various individuals shared stories about Sister Mary Leonard, O.P., who was perhaps the biggest supporter of the Aquinas Cavaliers. “My most special memory happen in the fall of 1972,” shared Veach. “It was common during this period that some of the games of the World Series were played during the day. I had Biology class in the afternoon, and this particular afternoon a World Series game was being played. It was no secret that Sister Mary Leonard loved baseball. She dismissed class early that day. After dismissal she asked if I wanted to watch the game. How can one turn down that invitation?” Sister Mary Leonard was unable to be present at the reunion but sent greetings via video.
Don Cox also recognized those Aquinas baseball players who are now deceased, as names of the departed were noted. “God bless them all, they were our baseball brothers and good friends,” added Cox.
The evening was a time when memories from days past were shared and new memories were made. Veach reminisced about the early days of Edmund field: “One other memory that I’ll never forget is when we dedicated the new baseball field and Jim Turner, pitching coach of the New York Yankees and Hall of Fame member threw out the game ball to me. What an honor!”
Josie Cox commented on what was then known as Aquinas Junior College “Aquinas was a wonderful college experience for Don and me,” said Cox. “It gave Don the opportunity to play baseball with a scholarship, get his Associate degree and make lifelong friendships. Aquinas gave me the opportunity to stay at home with my parents who needed me at that time. It will always hold a special place in our hearts because it is where Don and I met, and the rest is history.”