- Last Updated on 07:52 AM 02/25/13
- BY Doug Ford
Giving back to the community has been part of Todd Trickey’s sports legacy, and the South Boston resident and 2013 inductee into the Halifax County-South Boston Sports Hall of Fame continues that service to this very day.
The 25th anniversary induction banquet for the Hall of Fame will be held April 6 at Halifax County Middle School, starting at 6:30 p.m., and Trickey is humbled to be included along with five other athletic standouts.
Trickey, along with NASCAR competitor and noted conservationist Ward Burton, former Halifax County High School all state running back and Virginia Tech signee Lawson Osborne, multiple sports standout Louie Seabolt Jr., Mary M. Bethune High School football star Richard O. Wilkins and the late Everett Taylor, a longtime district and state director for Dixie Youth Baseball and coach in the Babe Ruth Baseball League are the 2013 Hall of Fame inductees.
Trickey admitted to being speechless when informed of his Hall of Fame selection by Hall of Fame President Carlyle Wimbish.
“Other than giving a mumbled thank you out on the phone, he thought I was crazy,” Trickey joked.
“I really wasn’t talking at all, I was really numb about the whole thing.”
It was all a matter of being in the right place at the right time and working with the right people that led to his accomplishments, Trickey said.
Trickey also excelled in basketball and tennis, becoming a three-time county champion in tennis for the 16 and under age group, and being captain, MVP and an all-district basketball player his third and final year of high school basketball.
He was a three-year varsity starter for the Halifax County High School baseball team as pitcher, first baseman and outfielder, and he was captain and MVP his junior and senior years, being named all-district at first base his junior year and pitcher his senior year.
His senior year he was an all-state selection as a pitcher with a 10-2 record and 1.48 ERA, while batting .429, leading the Comets to the district and regional championships.
Trickey became a Collegiate Baseball freshman All-American at Virginia Tech, where he pitched a no hitter against ODU in his second start and finished with a 7-2 record.
He was an All-Metro Conference selection his sophomore year and finished 8-2.
Injuries curtailed his career his junior year at Tech when he was 4-2, but Trickey rebounded his senior year to receive the Most Outstanding Baseball Athlete award after an 8-2 record.
Trickey is currently third all time in wins at Virginia Tech with 27.
The right place, the right time
Growing up within walking distance of the high school, Trickey was a the right place at the right time to advantage of the baseball fields and basketball and tennis courts to hone his skills at an early age with neighborhood youth.
“It was the greatest place in the world to be for me, because I loved sports,” he recalled.
“I could walk 30 yards and I was at the facility.
“I saw Lawson Osborne score touchdowns, Donald Testerman, Moses Foster and Coach Starnes and all those great teams.
“I was at the games and watched all those great basketball teams Don Thompson had with Calvin Crews, Jack Crews, L.F. Elliott, Larry Scott.”
People would be surprised his athletic talent may have centered around a different sport than baseball, Trickey pointed out.
“In fact, I think if you talked to the right people you’d find out I had more natural talent in tennis than anything else,” he said.
“Again, it goes back to living beside it (tennis court), and being fortunate enough to have a father who’d give me not what I wanted but what I needed, a racquet.
“You didn’t need anybody to play with, and I’d hit that thing (board) until my arms hurt.”
The right people
Trickey met one of his biggest influences, Coach Addison Marable, while playing Midget League basketball.
“Growing up as a youth, I had a special privilege of playing for Addison Marable,” he recalled.
“Addison is a special person, he cared for the kids, and it wasn’t just me, Addison cared for all the kids who played for him.
“If you won a game, he’d take you to Hardees. It was the greatest thing since sliced bread to go to Hardees.”
Growing up, basketball was his favorite sport, but when he entered eighth grade, he met a person who would change all that.
“His name was Scooter Dunn,” noted Trickey.
“I don’t think anyone cares about or loves the game as much as I do except for Scooter Dunn and Chuck Hartman, my college coach.
“I was fortunate enough to be exposed to those two people.”
“(Baseball) was just a magical thing, batter against pitcher with a team behind you, and there’s nothing else like it,” he continued.
“As an eighth grader it just hit me, and I sucked it all up.
“I kept playing basketball and I liked basketball, and if I went back and did it all over again I would probably still play basketball, but I don’t think my heart was in it, and I was kind of waiting for baseball to get there.”
Giving back comes naturally
Giving back comes naturally to Trickey, as evidenced by his coaching career, including eight years as pitching coach under Dunn, three years as head coach in the Dixie Boys and Dixie Majors baseball programs with three state championships to his credit, one year of coaching a 13-year-old travel team, and one year of coaching the first Junior American Legion baseball team in Halifax County.
His mentors were many, including Marable, Dunn, Frosty Owens, John Crittenden and Tigue Day.
“My dad worked two jobs growing up, and he saw me play very little. Addison brought me home after every practice and every game.
“Hustler Gravitt did it in Babe Ruth, and Scooter Dunn took me home a lot in junior high. They didn’t have to do that, but they did it, probably because they thought it was the right thing to do.”
“I just felt like all those people put time and effort into me, and all of them made a lasting contribution to get me to where I was able to earn an athletic scholarship to a fine institution,” explained Trickey.
“Without that, I don’t get there, I don’t go to that school.
“My parents were not wealthy by any means, and if I can help a kid today, I’ll help him.
“I do feel like I have something to offer with all the years I’ve been around it, and with all the people I’ve been around.”
He gets just as much enjoyment and satisfaction watching those he has helped along the way achieve success.
“We’re off the beaten path. We don’t get college or pro scouts here,” said Trickey.
“It’s tough for kids here to get recognized, I was in the right place at the right time. I was playing in the district (baseball) tournament in Charlottesville, and Coach Hartman was there to watch a kid pitch for Albemarle and saw me.
“I was fortunate enough to pitch really well that day, and it made him want to come back and see me again, and an offer evolved.”
Trickey had worked with former Comet baseball standout and current Louisburg College player Tyler Long, who recently got a baseball scholarship to play at UNC-Greensboro.
“I helped him a little bit coming up, and I get just as much satisfaction watching him as that no-hitter I threw at Virginia Tech,” he pointed out.
“It was just a blessing for being in the right place at the right time and having a little bit of God-given ability and being around good people that helped me take that talent a little farther.”
“If I can help one, if I can help 10, it doesn’t matter, I’ll help as best I can.”