- Last Updated on 02:55 PM 08/08/13
- BY Joe Chandler
Every young baseball player dreams of one day having his name placed among the elite players in the Baseball Hall Of Fame.
For 12-year-old Carlton Redd of Virgilina, that dream has become reality.
Redd is a member of the Elizabeth City (N.C.) Titans travel baseball team that recently journeyed to Cooperstown, N.Y. to participate in a 104-team national tournament that was played at Cooperstown Dreams Park, a 22-field complex located on the campus of the national Baseball Hall Of Fame.
The name of every player that plays at Cooperstown Dreams Park has his name included in the American Youth Baseball Hall Of Fame. In addition, as it is for Major League Baseball stars, the players receive a Hall Of Fame ring.
If Redd is not the only baseball player from Halifax County to have his name included in the American Youth Baseball Hall Of Fame, he is one of very few.
“It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Redd said of the experience.
“This was an opportunity that most people don’t get.”
While in Cooperstown, N.Y., Redd was able to tour the national Baseball Hall Of Fame and see the pictures and stories of the many all-time baseball greats that have been inducted into the Hall Of Fame.
“It was exciting to see all of the people that have played baseball and have had outstanding careers,” Redd remarked.
“I was just happy to be able to be there and see all of that.”
Redd’s road to Cooperstown, N.Y. had a twist along the way.
The Virgilina resident was a member of the Halifax County Crushers 12U travel team. Earlier this summer, Redd was playing with the Crushers when the Crushers faced the Elizabeth City (N.C.) Titans in a tournament being played in Oxford, N.C. Redd’s play attracted the interest of his team’s opponent.
“We were in Oxford, N.C. that evening after the game and went out to eat,” Redd explained.
“My parents told me they had been asked by the coaches of the Elizabeth City team if I would be interested in playing with them. It was a great feeling that I had been asked to play with them and have the opportunity to go to New York. I was so excited it was actually happening. I had heard of Cooperstown, but I never thought I’d actually be going there to play baseball.”
Soon after, Redd began playing tournaments with the Titans 12U travel team that competes in USSSA and AAU sanctioned tournaments. Elizabeth City won the 12U AAU World Series in Oxford, N.C.
“I played eight or nine tournaments with Elizabeth City before we went to Cooperstown,” he noted.
Redd played second base and pitched for the Titans and was in the Titans’ starting lineup for seven of the eight games the team played in the tournament at Cooperstown, N.Y.
The Halifax County resident got the credit for at least one win on the mound for the Titans and had a hit in most of the games. Elizabeth City finished 20th in the 104-team tournament.
Redd says he plans to continue to play for the Titans travel baseball team and that another big baseball opportunity lies ahead for him next summer when the Titans will travel to Aberdeen, Md. to play a high-spotlight tournament.
“That will be another big tournament,” Redd remarked, “a tournament that will be like the Cooperstown tournament.”
For Redd, that event will mark a continuation of his climb up the ladder in his favorite sport.
“I played some backyard football, but I’ve mostly played baseball since I was five-years-old,” Redd explained.
“I played rec league baseball at Cluster Springs. This past season was my last year. Now, I’m going to go over to South Boston next year to play in the Dixie Boys league.”
The rising eighth-grader says he plans to try out for the Halifax County High School junior varsity baseball team next spring.