|In 1997 the first annual CSSA banquet was held during which awards were given for outstanding offensive records. The Board of Directors recognized that there were things more important than batting averages, home runs, and runs batted in. It was decided to honor one player, chosen by his peers, who demonstrated the qualities of integrity, dedication, teamwork, and the other intangibles to a high degree.
It was the unanimous decision of the board that the first recipient of this award should be Arnold Fowler. Not only did Arnold receive the award. It was named in his honor. Each year the presentation of the Arnold Fowler Award is the highlight of the annual banquet.
In the world of sports some people stand out. They hit, run, and field with exceptional skill. In life there are people who emerge as outstanding. They are leaders. They go the extra mile. They care about others. Integrity is their trademark. They are exemplary.
Arnold Fowler was an exemplary man.
When Arnold Fowler joined the Cherokee Senior Softball Association as a player he was 74 years of age. His considerable athletic skills had begun to diminish, but the qualities that made Arnold so special never diminished. At age 82 Arnold was in his prime in the areas of life that really matter. Arnold did many things during his life. He set a high standard in each one. Arnold and his wife, Gladys, were married 63 years. He was a Marine. He fought on Iwo Jima and was awarded the Purple Heart for his gallantry in action. He worked for more than 40 years at the Canton Textile Mills. For much of that time he was a supervisor and was the key to the effective production of the large workforce up until the day the plant closed. Arnold was interested in every area of the community in which he lived. He served as a member of the City Council for 23 years and never lost an election. He was an adult member of the Boys Scouts of America. He provided his leadership in many capacities over the years and received the highest award presented to adults serving in the scouting program, the Silver Beaver. His faith was significant in his life. He loved the Lord and served Him in many ways. He was a member of the Gideons, the organization dedicated to distributing the printed word of God, and for many years spoke frequently in churches about the work of the Gideons.
When Arnold began to play in the CSSA his qualities were apparent to all who played with or against him. On numerous occasions he took a hard hit from a throw or a batted ball. There were times that he ended up laying on the ground. But inevitably he bounced back up, dusted himself off, and said, “Let’s play ball!”
Arnold always strived to do his very best. He said, “I don’t want to be average. I want to be above average.” This was not the statement of a braggart. It was Arnold’s approach to life. Just six weeks before his death Arnold and Gladys participated in the Georgia Senior Olympics program. They won the gold medal in mixed doubles bowling. Arnold won the silver medal in horseshoes. “I lost by one point”, he recounted. You knew by the tone of his voice that he already planned to be back next year…and he would do one point better!
Arnold Fowler was laid to rest on a beautiful fall afternoon. The numbers attending the funeral service overflowed the small church that he loved and dedicated his life to in so many ways. On November 7, 2002 the world lost a very special person. But heaven became just a little better place because Arnold Fowler had come home.
|2019 – Lee Molway|
2018 – Steve Fleming – Centenial Chiropractic, Thurs Pickup Game
2017 – Ray Bryant – HME – Master League
2016 – John Humeston – Able John’s – Master League, Tues Practice
2015 – Scott Trevathan – Able John’s – Master League
2014 – Mike Ryan – Super Sod – Lowell Lawson League, Sunday Practice
2013 – Dewey Hom – Sew Pro – American League
2012 – Jimmy Long – Prime Collision – Masters League
2011 – Howard Hansard – Key Jewelers – National League
2010 – George Stroh – Manley Bros. – Masters League
2009 – Barney Greene – Prime Collision – Masters League
2008 – Bob Castellana – Little River Grill – American League
2007 – Bill Kemp – Kool Kars – Masters League
2006 – Ferrell Sparks – State Farm – National League
2005 – Lawrence Bishop – Plant Hammond – American League
2004 – Henry Helton – Coldwell Banker – American League
2003 – Joe Manous – Plant Hammond – American League
2002 – Lowell Lawson – McFarland Foods – Gold League
2001 – Les Taylor – Cherokee Bank – National League
2000 – Glenn Home – Sosebee Knights – Gold League
1999 – Joe Scigliano – Good Times – White Divsion
1998 – Jim Powell – Rascals – Masters Division
1997 – Arnold Fowler – Sosebee’s – 60 and Up League