John Milton

I grew up playing baseball every summer starting in Oklahoma in 1950 with Little League, moving to Pony League back in Texas where I was born, and ending in 1965 in Texas when I left for the Army as a 2d Lieutenant Signal Officer fresh out of college.  I did manage to get some games played that year with the post team at Ft Gordon, GA while waiting for orders to Germany after graduating from the Signal Officer’s Basic Course.  I subsequently spent 42 years in Federal Service (Army and DoD Civil Service) during which time I was able to play a few games in an international league while stationed in Germany in the mid-60s and, of course, the DCMSBL.  This time frame also included coaching Little League and Babe Ruth (including a stent as the Fairfax League President) and FPYC Football and Soccer.

I learned about the league in 1992 from Duane Willoughby who, when I said I had played catcher and 3d base, invited me to come out to a Fairfax MudHens practice.  I met Jim Harris who was the manager at the time and other folks like Jerry Klemm, Ben Wetzler, and a slew of other really fine “adult kids” all enjoying playing the game.  As a result of this introduction and with the exception of a couple years during which the MudHens temporarily folded and I played with the DC Thugs – the name of which, fortunately, did not describe the player personalities – and Rangers, I have been playing with the MudHens as #10 ever since that first 1992 introduction.  Fortunately for me and my playing time, Jim Harris recognized that I had some skills at 1st base, so I ended up swapping my 1957 catcher’s mitt that I had used in high school (and still have) for my son’s first base glove that I had bought him for high school.

Of all my great memories of league baseball, like being a member of the Mudhens’ first championship team, I can say that the best memory is the Dr. Klemm organized 2008 trip to Cooperstown to play a game at Doubleday Field.  As I remember the game, it started late due to the previous day’s rain and ended early due to time limits as a 9-9 tie with the 9th batter on each team making the last out for their respective side in the final inning.  It was a proper ending to a really great day on a great field with a bunch of really great people.

I have been fortunate to play with and against a lot of really good ball players who are also good people and friends.  I thank my teammates, coaches and managers for allowing me to continue playing baseball and the league organizers for making and keeping DCMSBL a great experience.