Charles 'Chick' King was major leaguer in every way



Charles “Chick” King, who died at age 81 Monday night in Paris, was one of Henry County’s outstanding sports heroes and certainly was the most prominent baseball player ever from the county.

King was one of the first five men to enter the Paris-Henry County Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.

Talking about his selection, the modest King said it was an honor to be in the same group as Bill Hudson, who played professional football for several years.

King also held an admiration for his coach, Bobby Jelks. In addition, King consistently praised his teammates for making any of his accomplishments possible.

While King’s sports career took him the route of Major League Baseball, he was well-known as one of the offensive spark plugs of Jelks’ undefeated 1949 Grove High School football team.

King’s football days began as a fifth-grader at Atkins-Porter school.

In addition to football, he played baseball, basketball and ran track in high school. In his senior year at Grove, he was named All-State, All-Southern and All-American in football. During his three-year high school playing days, he averaged 25 touchdowns a season.

The 1949 Grove football team, on which King starred, is still recognized as one of the county’s best teams. The undefeated team won 11 games and beat Memphis Central High School in the Exchange Bowl by one point, with King scoring the winning touchdown, then passing to his nephew Dan King for the winning conversion.

As a high school basketball player, King led his team to a state tournament in 1947.

After high school, King went to Memphis State University on a football scholarship.

However a short time later, he signed with the Detroit Tigers to play professional baseball. He worked his way up to the major leagues with the Tigers in the late 1950s, but was blocked from a regular job by a future Hall of Famer named Al Kaline.

In addition to Detroit, he would suit up with the Chicago Cubs and for a short time with the St. Louis Cardinals, where he played with Stan Musial.

After his professional baseball days, King returned to Henry County, coaching American Legion baseball and youth softball teams for a number of years.

Through the years, King maintained his love for Henry County sports, attending football practices and games and other athletic events.

Outside the sports arena, King was a member of the Tennessee State Guard.

He also was the great-great-great-grandson of a Revolutionary War soldier, Martin Neese, who was born in Pennsylvania and later lived in North Carolina.

In 2010, Brent Greer, county mayor, proclaimed Nov. 10 as Chick King Day and honored him with the Loyal Patriot award, when King celebrated his 80th birthday.

Ridgeway Funeral Home will announce arrangements.

Published: Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Reprinted from the Paris Post-Intelligencer
Paris, Tennessee
Used by Permission


  Bill  McCutcheon, The Post-Intelligencer,
contributed some of the material on this page.



Chick  with  the  Tigers

Chick  with  the  Detroit
Farm  club Buffalo

Grove  Football
Absolutely  the  best




Chick King was a star

Chick King had that indefinable something that amounts to star quality. He was a big, rawboned country boy whose exploits in three sports are in the record books.

As a speedy and bruising halfback, King was the most prominent athlete in Grove High School’s storied 1949 football team. Two years earlier, he was on the school basketball team that played in the state tournament.

The sport in which he went farthest was baseball, where as a slugger and lightning-quick base runner, he wore the uniforms of the Detroit Tigers, Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals.

His sports career set records

It was inevitable that he would be in the initial group of inductees in the Paris-Henry County Sports Hall of Fame. There he was a star among stars, but humbly said he considered it an honor to be considered in the same class as Pro Bowl footballer Bill Hudson.

King came back home after his time with professional sports. For years he coached youth sports teams and was one of the biggest fans of Henry County High School teams. But deep in his veins, the blue and white of Grove High School were undoubtedly his favorite colors.

Published: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 ~ The  Paris  Post-Intelligencer


He was certainly a King.


P-I Sports Editor

All the sports fans in Henry County are saddened with the death of Chick King. I’m not old enough to have had the pleasure of seeing King playing baseball, basketball or football but the stories about his exploits are the tales that become legends.

Put a ball in the game and King would be the best player is a description I’ve heard more than once but never from King. I had the chance to meet and interview him a few times throughout the years and he was very humble. He’d tell you he didn’t do anything special and that he was just lucky to have had great teammates and coaches, like the late Bobby Jelks.

But he was wrong. He thrilled fans with his runs in football and his blasts on the baseball field. He was the outside threat for Grove’s basketball teams while his nephew, the late Dan King, was the inside power.

After King’s major league baseball career ended, he came back to Paris and may be made his biggest impact as a coach for American Legion baseball. I’ve heard countless heartfelt accounts of what a pleasure it was to have had King as a coach from the guys who played on those teams in the 1960s.

There are many more people who can tell you with much more detail about how great a man and athlete King was than I can but there is one thing I’m sure is true. The world of sports has surely lost some its luster with the passing of a King.

Published: Wednesday, July 11, 2012





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Paris-Henry   County
Sports  Hall  of  Fame



James Enoch
Richard “Bill” Hudson
Dr. C. C. “Sonny” Humphreys
Robert M. “Bobby” Jelks
Charles “Chick” King




Recognition (1)
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