Baseball and a new friend

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 4, 2012

While attending an American Legion baseball game in Hahnville a couple of weeks ago, I noticed an elderly gentleman sitting on the bottom row. After a few innings, I decided to introduce myself, and I’m so glad I did.

His name was Mr. James Faucheux Sr. I could tell of his love for the game and especially for the Hahnville left fielder, Travis Faucheux, his grandson. During our conversation, I recalled an old African proverb, “When an old man dies a whole library of untold stories are buried with him.”

I learned that Mr. Faucheux will be 92 years old on Oct 11. He grew up on the west bank and graduated from Westwego High School in 1938. He was eager to tell me that in 1939 the New Orleans Pelicans Professional Baseball Team had tryouts for prospective players. “Over 100 boys tried out, and they chose only five, and I was one of the five,” he said with a smile.  

He shared that he served in the U.S. Marines during World War II and after the Japanese attack was stationed in Pearl Harbor, where he served for the duration of the war.  

Being a pretty good ballplayer, he was on the service baseball team with a couple of major league players who had their careers interrupted to serve their country. He mentioned that Alvin Dark, a LSU legion who later played with the

New York Giants, was on the team.

After the war, Mr. Faucheux was employed by the Southern Pacific Railroad for more than 40 years until his retirement in 1968. He has three children, six grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

The game was good. My team, St. Charles Catholic, lost 2-1, but it was only a game. Having the opportunity and privilege to hear my newfound friend share his story is what life is all about.

If you have any questions or comments, please write to Get High on Life, P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70084, call 985-652-8477, or email hkeller@comcast.