We are celebrating Major League Baseball’s Opening Day! Stubby Currence added so much to the legacy of baseball, especially in Four Seasons Country.
“Sorrell was lured back to Bluefield, West Virginia, one year after his big-league career ended. According to his son, Sorrell and sportswriter Stubby Currence had maintained a close friendship since the pitcher’s coalfield league days in 1924. Currence persuaded Sorrell to pitch for the Bluefield Blue-Grays, recently admitted to the Class D Mountain State League. Down-to-earth and level-headed, Sorrell was a popular, beloved figure in the town of 25,000 residents. He took the mound for the Blue-Grays in his final three years of professional baseball (1938-40), went 26-11, and managed the club in in 1939 and ’40. He announced his retirement after the 1940 season, and 15 years in Organized Ball. In his ten years with the Tigers he was 92-101, logging 1,671⅔ innings with a 4.43 ERA.” -Gregory H. Wolf
I’ve seen it mentioned that V.L. “Stubby” Currence provided the nicknames for at least two Southwest Virginia High School sports teams.
Graham High School, Bluefield VA – nicknamed the G-Men
While the Town of Graham was renamed Bluefield in a ceremony with its “sister-city” Bluefield, West Virginia, the school retained its name and adopted the moniker of “Graham Men” or “G-Men.” The origin of the moniker dates back to ca. 1936 and Bluefield Daily Telegraph reporter Stubby Currence. He often said in reference to the football team, “just as the FBI ‘G’overnment Men always get their man,” so do the “Graham Men” or “G-Men” get their man. Athletes were also referred to as “G-Men” when they received a letter in sports.
– Graham High School website
Richlands High School, Richlands, VA – nicknamed the Blue Tornado
The story I’ve always heard about Richlands is that the nickname originated with Stubby Currence in his description of a game played back in the 1930s or thereabouts. RHS wore blue jerseys and in this particular game generated a lot of offense. In his description of it for the Daily Telegraph, Currence supposedly described the Richlands team as moving down the field like a “blue tornado.” – By RichlandsAlum on How our schools got their nicknames, SWVASports.com Forums
I haven’t be able to personally verify if these stories are true. But was a cool legacy, if so. I’ll post if there are more teams Stubby may have helped name.
Comment how your favorite high school sports team got its name. I’d love to hear them.