91-Year Old Lacy Rocks at Houston SABR Meeting

91-year old Raymond Lacy: native Texan; college graduate and educator; survivor of racism; Negro League veteran of clubs like the Homestead Grays and Houston Eagles; high school coach in baseball, football, and basketball; man of faith; role model; family man; and one of the wisest men any of us could ever hope to meet.

91-year old Raymon Lacy: native Texan; college graduate and educator; survivor of racism; Negro League veteran of clubs like the Homestead Grays and Houston Eagles; high school coach in baseball, football, and basketball; man of faith; role model; family man; and one of the wisest human beings any of us could ever hope to meet.

Wisdom and love flows through his ancient being as if it were the technicolor stream of all life-blood currents, but, when Larry Dierker SABR chapter chair Bob Dorrill introduced the diminutive veteran of the Negro Leagues to the large crowd that was privileged to hear  him speak this unforgettable night, few of us knew what to expect. All most us knew was that his name was Raymon Lacy – and most us were spelling “Raymon” as though it had the expected “d” at its end. – It did not..

Once handed the mike at the special meeting area we occupied at the Spaghetti Western Cafe on Shepherd Drive, however, the whole room quickly focused entirely upon the small and stoic face that now now took the conductor’s role as to where the mind and soul will travel when we listeners pay close notice to the words a speaker chooses to make his points.

“My brother and I were born in the country near Tyler, Texas,” Lacy said, “and we were raised by a mother who worked like a convict to keep us fed and on the right path until we finished high school.”

Lacy loved baseball from way before the time he and his brother could afford any real equipment.

“We used broomsticks and the like for bats and shucked corn to throw as balls,” Lacy explained. With a barn as our backstop, we took turns pitching and batting. Sometimes we even threw bottle caps because of the swerves they made in the air. It was good preparation for me. By the time I’m hitting against real curve balls, those real pitchers weren’t fooling me. Those bottle caps were a lot harder to hit.”

The details of Lacy’s long and winding road covered more ground than this single pair of ears could retain, but it wasn’t simply the facts of this man’s journey that  jumped off the page at us. By the words this man chose, one could almost count and name the stones on the path of this man’s life travels. It was the path of a committed seeker. It was the wisdom that this man had accumulated in his nearly 92 years that still spoke clearly from his aged frame.  And once he had finished talking, he moved in almost school teacher fashion to a “next question” searchlight focus on what the crowd wanted to ask of him.

Along the way, Raymon Lacy also earned two college degrees that lifted him down the main line of his career activity beyond baseball as a teacher, principal, coach, and school board member.

Matt Rejmaniak was among those who personally thanked Raymond Lacy for his presentation at the July 19, 2014 Houston SABR meeting.

Matt Rejmaniak was among those who personally thanked Raymon Lacy for his presentation at the July 19, 2014 Houston SABR meeting.

Here are snippets of the wisdom that poured forth from this literal and figurative “Little Big Man” speaker:

On Failure. There is no failure if we get the lessons that spring from our mistakes. If we don’t pick them up, we will just get to see them again until they either get us thrown in jail, buried early, or, finally, to learn and change our lives according to the hard knocks edge of truth.

On Kids Today. Kids need to hear from their parents and teachers that they are loved. If a child doesn’t know he or she is loved, they aren’t likely to learn much from the role model who doesn’t let them know. I knew I was loved because my mama told me she loved me. She also showed me she loved me every time she punished me for getting out of line.”

On Biggest characters he ever met. Lacy answered that question by saying, “that depends on what kind of characters you mean. If you mean good characters, it’s a short list. If it’s bad characters, we could be here all night.”

On Negro League Greats. Raymon Lacy knew them all. Playing third base and right field for or against everyone from Josh Gibson to Hank Aaron to Willie Mays to Jackie Robinson, whom Lacy credits as the greatest because of his ability to hold up under the vicious assault of racial hatred. Lacy gives great weight of value  to those who are willing to face the adversities of life with the courage that all obstacles can be overcome with the willingness of the individual to hang in there and really commit to change.

On picking a Vocation. “I always told my students – ‘You don’t want to end up as one of those people who dreads the thought of going to a job that you hate, but you do it anyway because you need the money. Ask the question that no one else can answer for you: What do I really love? What do I want to do? If it will take more education to qualify, then go back to school and get what you need to move on. It doesn’t have to be college, but it needs to be enough to get you in the door of the line of work you say want to pursue.’ – In the end, if it’s not hurting anyone else, do what makes you happy. And nothing less.”

After the meeting, a number of us made a point of coming forth to thank Mr. Raymon Lacy for being with us. This morning, The Pecan Park Eagle wants to make it clear again, as I think we did last night. We aren’t simply thanking you, Mr. Lacy, for being with us last night. Our appreciation of you extends to the nearly 92 years you have been here as an important resident of Planet Earth.

God Bless You, Raymon Lacy!

In addition to making the Raymon Lacy presentation possible, chair Bob Dorrill also led us through a successful process of filling in many of the critical work assignments with new volunteers to the SABR 44 Plan for the SABR National Convention that is coming to Houston from July 30 through August 03.

Thank You, Bob Dorrill, for all you do!

 

 

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28 Responses to “91-Year Old Lacy Rocks at Houston SABR Meeting”

  1. gregclucas Says:

    Extremely well said, Bill. Mr. Lacey was a joy to hear and a role model for all of us. Being as healthy with such a sharp mind at nearly 92 should be the goal for everyone. But what he said should also be the guiding principles of everyone’s lives, not just our own.

  2. Mark W. Says:

    Thank you Raymon Lacy. Thank you Bob Dorrill.

  3. Marsha Franty Says:

    Thanks for your summary of the meeting, Bill. Unfortunately I was out of town and unable to attend. I wish someone had taped Mr. Lacy’s remarks.

    • LARRY GILL Says:

      Mr. Raymond Lacy was my track coach in 1966, was when I met him. I was just a freshman in HS. I ask him how many times do I have to circle this track, and he said twice. But if you beat these two guys I will reward you with a carton of juice. Sure tasted good. Thank You sir, for being a good history teacher and coach.

  4. Toniki Says:

    Hello Mr. Lacy from Toniki Lewis 1 of your former student. You are so blessed thanks for being such a inspiration in my life.

  5. John D Sunday Says:

    Mr Lacy was superintendent when my mom attended high school. Then I had the honor of being one of his students and one of his baseball players in high school. Even though Mr Lacy told me I had diarrhea of the mouth on a daily basis. Every time I opened my mouth, crap would fall out!!!

  6. Leo Underwood Says:

    I really truly give my thks! To coach Lacy for developing me into the Man/Marine I am today !! Thks Alot Coach Lacy !!!

  7. Jeffrey Anderson Says:

    Thank you Coach “Chief” Lacy, you made a large impact on a group young men in Kountze High School. The class of 1981 Thanks you. Jeffrey Anderson

  8. Cassandra Walters Says:

    Coach Lacy was an awesome teacher and Coach at Kountze High School in the 1990s. Great to see you still leading Coach!

  9. Cory LeBlanc Says:

    I had the honor of having him as a coach in Junior High and in High School. One of the most inspirational people i have ever known. From me and several other class mates who had the privilege of learning from him, “Chief”, we love ya! Kountze Lion, Class of 90′

  10. Robert Says:

    He is one of the greats…..I have seen him coach many games and I have never seen anything but class from this gentleman….not many of his generation left (the greatest generation ever).

  11. Crawford Mayfield Says:

    I had the privilege of studying under Coach Lacy for 4 years. He was my football line coach and head baseball coach and History Teacher from 1978 to1981. We called him “Chief”. The first day Coach Lacy took over a terrible baseball team, we were undiciplined, and goofing off. He stopped practice and called the entire team to the plate and said something to the effect of: For too long on this team there has been too many chiefs and not enough Indians. From now on…I’m the only Chief. From that moment on in 1979 we began to call him “Chief Lacy”….25 some odd years later, I saw another High school student, from a different school call him “Chief Lacy” as well….I guess it stuck. Raymon Lacy was one of the greatest influences of my life…and he taught me to LOVE history, how to be an effective offincive lineman, how to hit a curveball and to look past skin color and to only judge a man on his words and actions, not his DNA.
    GOD BLESS CHIEF LACY

  12. Jim Langston Says:

    Hey Coach, your one of my favorite memories from High school .
    Coach Lacy taught our team respect for each other .Great Man!!!

  13. Jerry McEachern Says:

    Have known Raymond since 1967 when we coached together in Jasper. He knew his stuff and worked with my pitchers on the baseball team. Great guy to work with. Proud to see he is doing well. Would love to see him and visit with him again.

  14. chris Says:

    I remember being in 5th grade and Coach Lacy and I talking baseball or throwing the ball, he always had his glove in the car even tho he pushing 70, His stories helped me feel a deep love for the game. His passion for the game definitely fell on me. He even pretended not to see us play tackle football when it was supposed to be flag until things got too feisty. He was quick to put us straight if we got out of line, my buddy james got this daily. On Tuesday, which was ice cream day coach always had a pocket full quarters for a couple of kids who forgot ice cream monies. Thanks Coach Lacy for life lessons even at such an early age.

  15. Troy S. Willis Says:

    I only know him as Coach Lacy as he was one of my high school football coaches. He was great coach and even better person. He even recessated one of our players who was knocked out. He is just an all around stand person and great example. It is good to see you doing well coach.

  16. David Erickson Says:

    Mr Lacy was on the School Board in Burkeville TX the year I was principal there.
    We had many conversations about school, students, life and the Lord Jesus. Mr Lacy is a fine gentleman that loves school, loves athletics and lives for the LORD.
    I know the audience received much from Mr Lacy as he spoke to this group.

    God Bless,
    David Erickson

  17. David Erickson Says:

    I had the privilege of working as principal on year while Mr Lacy was a member of the school board.
    Mr Lacy and I had many talks about school, students, athletics and the Lord Jesus.
    I am sure that the audience was impressed and moved as Mr Lacy shared life with this group.
    God Bless you, Mr Lacy

    Regards,
    David Erickson

  18. Christy Flowers Says:

    I wish I could have been there to say hi to Coach Lacy. This man was my teacher, many moons ago, at Kountze High School. He is a man of great wisdom, wonderful humor, has a deep love of children, and of baseball. I’m so very pleased those who attended were given some of his wisdom.

  19. Raymon Lacy Column from July 2014 Goes Viral | The Pecan Park Eagle Says:

    […] 91-Year Old Lacy Rocks at Houston SABR Meeting […]

  20. Terri Hunt Cornelius Says:

    Hello Coach Lacy, I am so glad to See you are doing well, My name is Terri Hunt(maiden) Cornelius, you were my Civics teacher at Kountze High School in Kountze, Tx. in 1981, I remembered you as being a kind and patient teacher, THANK YOU for your contribution to society, you are to be commended for all your hard work. Be Blessed!!!!

  21. Shontal Cole Says:

    This man is a great person inside and out. He is a fine example of a God fearing man.

  22. Cory LeBlanc Says:

    Great man. Always their for ya with tons of advice. Miss ya Chief!

  23. Tami Hathaway Says:

    Love Coach Lacy…he was alays a positive at school. Respected by all of us.

  24. Joni Davis s Says:

    Awwwwww Mr. Lacy was my school teacher in Kountze, TX. He was one of my favorites. Such a sweet precious man he is.

  25. Leo Underwood Says:

    Wow ! Coach Lacy ! I would like to say, first of all ! I really really thank you for keeping a straight head on me. While coaching me at Kountze High ! If it wasnt for you ! I would be a Retired 27 year Marine ! I am today ! And My Heart and Hat goes off to you ! Thk U Thk U Thk U ! Coach Lacy

  26. Lynda & Jerry Davis Says:

    A true gentle man. Kind, caring, loving, wise, and such a blessing. Would love to have the opportunity to spend time with him again.

  27. Marc Brubaker Says:

    Hi Bill! I was wondering if you had any current contact information for Mr. Lacy. I’d love to write him and learn more about his time in baseball. Thanks for your help.
    – Marc

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