While their playing days might be over, the lessons Hancock County’s community leaders learned on the sports fields continue to guide them today. In this week-long series, we look back on the positive effect athletics had on their lives.
GREENFIELD – A few times when he was a “young lad” living in Shelby County, Chuck Fewell had the good fortune to meet Carl Erskine at a local boys club.
Erskine, who hailed from Anderson and attended Anderson University, spent his entire professional baseball career with the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers. Erskine was a 20-game winner in 1953 and an All-Star in 1954. He threw two no-hitters and once held the single-game World Series strikeout record (14).
Fewell remembers the experiences vividly, as if he had seen the five-foot-10 right-hander just yesterday.
“You’re always impressed when you meet a pro ballplayer,” said Fewell, who has been the Mayor of Greenfield since Dec. 30. “He talked to us about what it meant to be a pro ballplayer, the character building, the commitment and the travel.”
Fewell owns a lifetime’s worth of baseball memories that have shaped his personal principles.
As a youth, he attended Indianapolis Indians games at Bush Stadium. Fewell’s favorite player was Herb Score, a pitcher who went on throw for the Cleveland Indians. Score still owns Indianapolis’ single-season strikeout record after fanning 330 hitters in 251 innings in 1954.
“That was a big treat back then,” Fewell said of going to the ballpark located on 16th St. in downtown Indy. “I was there when Herb Score broke the strikeout record.”
In addition to watching plenty of baseball, Fewell also played the game. He was involved in Little League and competed for Howe High School in Indianapolis. Fewell said Howard Pittman and Rollie Patterson, two of his Little League coaches, were “outstanding” mentors.