David Wyant headshot

David Wyant

Albemarle High School

And I have had a winning team.  It was in little league.  And a guy worked with me at my office.  And back here in Crozet, they used to play little league at Greenwood Community Center, and they played at the Crozet Park, and two teams up at Greenwood Community Center.  And the fellow that coached the one team -- you do the draft.  We knew how he was.  He did not want any Black kids.  The Black kids up they say they’re 11 years old, 10 years old.  They play it at the community center all day long.  They just get out there and play baseball and everything. So they’re playing against 15, 16-year olders.  And so playing against another 11, 12-year-old doesn’t mean anything.  We knew he did not want to draft any of those Black kids.  So what we ended up doing, we ended up picking out any of the white kids that was in the count, got them first, and then we got all those Black kids.  And it turned out two of them -- one of them went on and played pro ball.  They were 11-year-old, two 11-year-olders pitching for us, and we did not lose a ballgame.  They were the best athletes up there because they played, but we knew how that guy was towards them.  And those kids -- and I was umpiring baseball down at Burley for Albemarle High School.  Donnie Wright was coaching and a young fellow’s [named Ronnie?], “Hey you, Mr. Wyant,” like that, and I’m out there working games.  And I’ve had these associations with these kids when they were 11 and 12 years old.  I tell you something else.  I did it my first basketball -- I was a freshman in Virginia.  My uncle had come here and started running the rec department.  After [Nan Crow?] retired, he was the next parks and rec director and Joe Hicks came out of pro baseball.  Joe and [Em?], they used to call the individuals to umpire baseball.  They are the ones who taught me, especially Joe Hicks, who grew up right down the road with my dad and them up here, Joe taught me about umpiring ball.  But my uncle Ed said, “Hey, you want to make a little money and officiate basketball?”  I started officiating little league -- I guess you call it little league basketball at Jefferson School.  And I’m going to tell you, I didn’t even know the kid’s name.  One of them was named Swamp and another one named Catfish.  And I’m over at Charlottesville High School officiating basketball and across from the court, they set over there, “Hey, Mr. Wyant.”  I said, “Hey, Swamp,” like that.  I didn’t (inaudible).  And it wasn’t long ago, I think it was about two months ago.  I went into Korner Restaurant.  And I walked in and that guy’s saw me, “Hey.”  And it was Swamp again.  And I got to ask him.  I said, “Where is old Catfish?”  And he said, “Well, he passed away.”  I didn’t even know their name, didn’t know his name either, but that’s what we knew.  I tell you, two really good little ballplayers.