Column: Local legend coming home

Published 9:41 am Monday, February 6, 2023

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By Carey Reeder | Staff Writer

Two-time Major League Baseball All-Star, 1975 World Series champion and Clanton native Clay Carroll is making his return to the county in February. For me, this is arguable the most excited I have been for a story in my almost one-year time at The Clanton Advertiser.

Carroll was a member of the fantastic Cincinnati Reds teams in the 1970s that featured hall of famers such as Johnny Bench and Joe Morgan. Pete Rose and Ken Griffey Sr. were also on the Red teams Carroll pitched in relief for.

Having a local legend come back to his hometown is special for any small town, but Carroll’s baseball pedigree runs deep in the rich baseball history in Chilton County. It is so cool to me that Clanton has not one, but two, prominent names in MLB history that hail from Chilton County.

In North Carolina, we dedicated a road to a NASA astronaut who was born in Statesville and went to my middle school. That was cool to see someone come back to their roots and be celebrated for the accomplishments he was able to achieve throughout his life.

This, however, is ten times cooler to me as a sports writer. Having Carroll’s family, who saw how hard he worked in his early years towards making his MLB debut with the Milwaukee Braves just before their move to Atlanta there, will be extra special.

I am looking forward to talking to Carroll’s family and getting a read on how much time and dedication he put towards his craft before and during his MLB career. Mayor Jeff Mims and the Clanton City Council have planned a great event to dedicate the road in Carroll’s honor, and it will hopefully be something he will remember the rest of his life.

Carroll’s legacy will be forever associated with Chilton County.