Bloch Park wall perfect way to honor Reece

Published 10:47 pm Friday, July 10, 2015

The Selma Parks and Recreation Department unveiled the return of Selma’s “Green Monster” Thursday night during the first day of the Dixie State Majors Baseball Tournament.

The wall, which was once a fixture at Bloch Park, had been blown down over a decade ago during a hurricane and hadn’t been replaced, but now it again sits in its rightful spot deep in center field at the ballpark.

The ”Green Monster” nickname comes from its small-scale similarities to a wall that sits in Boston’s Fenway Park’s outfield that routinely keeps baseballs in the park and turns home runs into doubles.

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However, Thursday’s unveiling was more than just about the wall. Instead, it was more about former recreation director Elton Reece, who the wall was dedicated to.

Reece was passionate about many things — faith and family at the top of the list — but he absolutely loved baseball and softball.

He coached in, watched and oversaw games at Bloch Park for decades and was an encyclopedia of Selma baseball knowledge.

“I think coach Reece is smiling down from heaven right now knowing that wall is back up,” said Lebo Jones, the interim director of the recreation department.

The Reece family was on hand Thursday, and they were presented with a plaque announcing the 2015 Dixie Majors State Baseball Tournament was being played in Reece’s honor.

Since Reece was instrumental in getting the tournament to Selma and helping keep it in the Queen City, that seemed only right.

It was nice to see the return of the wall, although hitters might get disgusted with it through the years. Not only does it signal the return of Selma history, but it’s massive frame in the outfield is a reminder of how large Reece’s role was in Selma sports during his time as recreation director.