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
Used by Permission
McCutcheon, The Post-Intelligencer,
contributed some of the material on this page.
Chick with the Tigers
By TOMMY PRIDDY
Published: Wednesday, July 11, 2012
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