MERIDIAN — Kudos to Tony Tsoukalas, Sports Editor
Tony's production of the above tabloid deserves special recognition for a job well done. The artwork with the crisp photographs and the research done on each team were all very impressive.
My favorite part, however, has to be the story in the back of the tabloid about a local Meridian baseball player by the name of Eric (Boob) McNair. I have been learning about him since I first met Donald Eric McNair, Jr., back in 1968. This has now been almost forty-five years and Mac (Don) has become one of my very best friends.
I will give you a little bit of background on how this story came to fruition. Over the last few months, Tony and I have been talking about his doing a story for me on a cousin of mine who came through Meridian High School in the 50s, and who many folks consider to be a "sports legend."
During that time, I talked to Mac about this, and he mentioned his dad, Eric, and how he had tried to get the local paper to print a story about this Meridian legend. Mac had been disappointed that this had not been accomplished, and he decided to meet Tony and show him all the pictures and other information.
Of particular interest to Mac was the time Eric was invited by none other than Babe Ruth to go to Japan on an American All-Star team put together by The Babe. This All-Star team played against and with the Japanese so it was a good.
Tony's story is quite an achievement and very much worthy of recognition. In the story, Tony was not only able to capture the sports heroics of this young athlete from our small town, but he was also superb in capturing the man as a fellow human being as husband, father, and hero to us all.
We can all be proud to claim Eric as our hometown hero and someone to be so proud of. I learned things I had not discovered in my almost forty-five years of knowing Mac. Please give a special "thank you" to Tony for making McNair Jr's dream come true as Mac is very much enjoying seeing his dad brought back to life. Stories like these make the hometown newspaper special to us so keep up the good work.