Dad of Gordon first base coach covering JUCO for hometown paper

Dad of Gordon first base coach covering JUCO for hometown paper

Gordon (Ga.) College assistant coach Blake Parrott, right, and his father Greg, left, share a love of baseball. The elder Parrott covers the team for the Pike County Reporter-Journal, and paid his own way to cover to the Alpine Bank Junior College World Series, and his son, for the paper.

Blake Parrott is thrilled to be at the Alpine Bank Junior College World Series, but having his dad here to catch it in words and pictures is so much better.

When the Gordon (Ga.) College baseball team qualified for its first NJCAA World Series in school history, sports reporter Greg Parrott made sure he made the trip on his own dime to not only cover it, but to take it in with his son, the Highlanders’ first-base coach.

“Believe it or not,” Blake said, “Coach (Travis) McClanahan loves for Dad to be here. ‘Man, I’ve got to get your dad in the dugout. We’ve got to get him taking pictures. He does a great job.’ All of us want him to be here to help us make memories, so when we have recruits coming in we can say that’s our goal right there.

“Having him here with me means a whole lot. He’s my best friend in the whole world. I can’t ask for a better father.”

Greg Parrott retired from Georgia Power Company three years ago, but he has worked for the Pike County Journal-Reporter in Zebulon, Ga., for the past 10 years. The small town is named after Zebulon Pike, who discovered Pikes Peak near Colorado Springs.

“It was all by accident because nobody covered baseball and football for a small town newspaper,” Greg said of his new job. “One day I said, ‘Why don’t nobody do it? She goes, ‘We don’t have enough people. You want to do it?’

“It’s kind of a passion. I love to write and take pictures. It’s fun. It’s a passion. If I’m at the ball field, I’m a happy man.”

Blake Parrott wasn’t planning to coach baseball at Gordon College, his alma mater, when he finished playing at Southern Polytechnic State University last year.

He got a job as an assistant football coach at a high school 40 miles down the road in Macon, Ga., but it became a financial strain driving back and forth while trying to finish his bachelor’s degree.

“I stayed in touch with Coach McClanahan,” Parrott said. “He said, ‘On the days you’re not there (in Macon), come help us out.’ After that, I was sitting down talking to him. He said, ‘Look, do what you want to do. Do what makes you happy. If you want to do this, you can do this full-time.’

“I told the head football coach my love is baseball. I think I’m a better fit coaching college baseball than I am here.”

The Highlanders opened the season in Panama City, Fla., and Greg was there, much to Blake’s surprise.

“I’m standing there about to run out and stand in the coach’s box at first base,” Blake said. “He has this whistle, and I know it. I hear it and turn around. It was totally unexpected. We’re about 230 miles away. It’s one of the coolest moments in my life.”

Greg hasn’t been to all of Gordon’s games this season, but he wouldn’t miss this opportunity. His wife, Dee, stayed home.

“Someone’s got to earn money,” Greg said. “She’s watching it on the Internet.”


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