A man whose life is rooted in the local sandlots, Farrell Owens
fondly relates a gesture from his
father which begins his
baseball story, "In the summer of '56, my dad bought me a first baseman's mitt at Friedman's on Charlotte Avenue after I did not make the team I had tried out for.
It was my first year to try to play organized amateur baseball and I was really down."
"That new mitt really picked me up.
I played all summer in the neighborhood with that glove", says Farrell
playing career began in Junior Knothole baseball playing for the West Side Parts team as a twelve-year-old in the summer of 1957.
The next year, his
team was Holder-Northern Lumber Company
in the Senior Knothole League
In 1959 he
played for them again, and in 1960 the team was sponsored by Pettus-Owen-Wood Funeral Home
did not play the next summer of 1961.
As a sixteen-year-old he
had been a member of the Cohn
High School team, but he
chose to help his
father coach the Cohn Men's Club team in Senior Knothole ball.
That team won the city's league championship.
played for two teams during the summer of 1962 at the age of seventeen: for Green Hills Merchants in the Larry Gilbert League
and for Post 5 in American Legion ball.
was selected as a Gilbert League All Star in 1963; the All Star game was played at Sulphur Dell.
At the age of 19 he
played for the Lipscomb College entry in the City League
While at Cohn
was named to the first team of Nashville's All-City baseball team.
Upon graduation in 1963, he
went to Lipscomb
to play baseball, becoming a starter on the 1964 team but transferred to Austin Peay in the fall.
had made a mistake in transferring, Farrell
made the move back to Lipscomb
with the blessing of legendary head baseball coach Ken Dugan who told Farrell
, "I would be happy to have you back".
Dugan was a mentor to Farrell
Farrell was center fielder on that team.
As a senior in 1968 Farrell
gained national notoriety by pulling an unassisted double play as an outfielder against arch-rival Belmont.
In 1992 Farrell
was inducted into the Lipscomb University Athletic Hall of Fame
During his college career, Farrell played during the summer for the Coursey's BBQ team in the Tri-State League.
The team competed as a member of the 19-and-over Stan Musial Division, a part of the American Amateur Baseball Congress
qualified for the Stan Musial World Series
in Battle Creek, Michigan.
The team won one and lost two in the tournament and Farrell
led the tournament with a .397 average.
By 1969 Farrell was coaching high school baseball and continuing to play in sandlot baseball in the Tri-State League but this time for a new team, Tennessee Pride Eggs, sponsored by the company's owner, Herman Bullock.
was Tri-State League
Player of the Year in 1969, batting .456.
last year to play was 1972.
began to manage the Haury & Smith Construction team in 1973 and led the team to the state championship in Knoxville.
relates the story:
It was in the fall of 1976 when Larry Schmittou called upon Farrell
to begin organizing what would become the Nashville Sounds professional minor league team.
That year Farrell
was inducted into the Nashville Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame
by the Nashville Old Timers Baseball Association
helped to establish a new amateur league in Nashville, the Kerby Farrell League
Leaving teaching and coaching in 1978 to help found the Nashville Sounds, he served as Vice President and General Manager for five years.
The new venture became a member of the Southern League
(AA) and an affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds.
At one time Farrell
owned a part of four minor league teams.
In 1989 Farrell began an amateur baseball newspaper, "The Sandlotter", covering play in the Greater Nashville Amateur Baseball Association (GNABA).
No longer a publication, his
venture became an internet source in 1997 and is now accessed online at www.sandlotter.com.
It covers the SANDLOTT Mid-State League
A lifelong Nashvillian, Farrell became a baseball player, coach, instructor, mentor, teacher, and former professional baseball executive.
He served as president of the Nashville Old Timers during 1987-1988 and continues to serve on the board of directors and executive commitee.
life has impacted many other players and friends.
counsel continues to guide and mold lives today as an authority on Nashville's baseball history.
"I have learned that there is a romantic aspect to teaching and talking about baseball.
Everyone lends an ear to it", he
Farrell has two daughters, Paige and Ashley, and one granddaughter Charlotte who was born in February of 2012.