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Radio part of '40s Braves

I thoroughly enjoyed the article about the Orangeburg Braves by Tom Summers. Tom without a doubt is the expert on the history of sports in Orangeburg. I would like to add one facet of the story not mentioned by Tom -- radio.

When my family moved to Orangeburg in 1947, I was 10 years old. The family did not attend Braves games, but somehow I got hooked on them via the radio. Yes, TV had been invented but was not a household item in the late '40s. (My family got their first TV set in around 1953.)

I remember listening to Mattie Matthews and Frank Best Jr. broadcasting those games. I can still remember some of their unique expressions. For example when we got to a 3-and-2 pitch, Mattie would say: “Here comes the old dipsie doodler” referring to the next pitch.

Tom cleared up something that bothers me when I see it in the news. Frequently there are news articles saying or implying that Mirmow Field was built for American Legion baseball with no mention of the Orangeburg Braves. This, of course, is not true. It was built because of the Orangeburg Braves and because of the enthusiasm the public had for them. Yes, the Legion and Orangeburg High used the field, but the Braves and the fervor they caused were the real reason for this.

Thanks, Tom, for a very good article.

John Knobeloch, Orangeburg


Coronavirus: You’re out of here!

Coronavirus, you came in swinging! You even got on base many times, but you didn’t win the game. You came at us with all you had, but you lost the war.

You see, we’re on to your strategy.

You wanted to isolate us. We decided to come together to fight you. You may have been the invisible enemy. But we’re the visible victors – with the Lord.

You chose to serve the Master of Fear. We chose to serve the Master of Faith.

You thought you could drive us to the depths of despair. We knew we would survive and thrive with God’s gifts: cheer, cooperation, and compassion.

You wanted to take away academics from the children. We used technology to keep the children reading, and added to their bank of knowledge.

You wanted to take away our livelihoods. We found the funds to keep our families and businesses strong.

You wanted to frighten us into submission by taking loved ones away. We mourn with many others, but we celebrate the lives of those who have inspired us to find a cure. And with God’s help, we will.

We know you may show up again. Again, your cruel spikes may infect us with frustration and pain. But we know what to do now. So if you show up again, don’t plan to stay — because you won’t.

Paulette S. Evans, Sumter


S.C. must end runoff elections

The June primary season is another reminder that South Carolina must end its most archaic election practice – the runoff.

The state should employ ranked-choice voting (also called “instant runoff voting”) to eliminate dragging voters and volunteers back to the polls two weeks after the primary election.

Rather than cast a vote for one candidate, voters in ranked-choice elections are able to submit a list of candidates ranked in order of preference. (As a side note, S.C. voters stationed overseas already do this for primary elections.)

Once all ballots are cast, if there is no candidate with a majority of first-place votes, the candidate with the fewest first-place votes is eliminated. For any ballot that placed the eliminated candidate as the first choice, the ballot would then count toward that ballot’s second choice. This process is continued until one candidate has garnered a majority of the ballots. (A simple internet search will yield ample resources explaining the process).

A handful of states has employed ranked-choice voting for primary elections this year (Democrat and Republican) and the process has been well received by voters. South Carolina should do the same and eliminate the need for runoff elections.

Christopher Elliott, Columbia


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