Catfish and Home

Near Mountain Home, Arkansas, 1938, courtesy of the Collections of the Library of Congress.

ACCESS PURCHASE
Students and scholars can access articles for free via Project Muse.

Catfish and Home

by Josh Eure
Southern Cultures, Vol. 17, No. 3: Memory

"Jimmy 'Catfish' Hunter pitched for the Oakland Athletics and the New York Yankees and in 1987 was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame - all the while maintaining his small-town farming roots. He played every game with the shotgun pellets from a childhood hunting accident lodged in his foot, and natives imagined he held a major piece of them in his cleats."

I was never much for baseball. It wasn’t that I hated the sport. I simply had no skill for it. A pop-fly to my left field usually went uncaught—never mind my batting. I was tall, arms hung apelike from my body, and my movements were too stretched out, languid flourishes that were useless. I wasn’t built for it. But in Hertford, North Carolina, where baseball hung in every home, office, classroom, and service station, a boy like me had little else to choose from. Hertford was baseball.