Rhodes Baseball Team Visits Landmark Sites

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Publication Date: 2/14/2007

Photo: Baseball team at Dexter Ave. Baptist Church
The Rhodes baseball team poses in front of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.

The Rhodes baseball team made an interesting side trip after last weekend’s two-game sweep of Huntingdon College.

Pitcher Chris Catalanotto ’08 of New Orleans, who is enjoying Professor Charles McKinney’s class on the history of the civil rights movement, approached political science professor Michael Nelson, the team’s faculty associate, and asked if it would be possible to visit some historical sites while the team was in Montgomery, AL. Nelson cleared it with coach Jeff Cleanthes and, as a result, the team bus stopped at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, where the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. coordinated the year-long bus strike that followed Rosa Parks’ arrest for her refusal to move to the back of the bus. The church is across the street from the state capital which was the site of a massive voting rights march in 1965. Catalanotto, Richard Hurd ’08, and Nelson briefed the team on the significance of the sites.

Derek King ’10 told the group that his grandmother marched with Dr. King, and he got on the phone immediately to tell his mother where he was. Zach Sherman ’09, who is from Vermont, took photos with his cell phone and sent them to his parents on the spot. “They won’t believe I’m having this experience!” he said.