KINGSPORT — It was Don Spivey Night at Hunter Wright Stadium on Monday.
Hundreds of fans came out to the ballpark to not only watch the
Kingsport Mets take on Bluefield in an Appalachian League matchup but
also to honor the longtime public address announcer.
“Driving up to the stadium and seeing the signs saying it was Don Spivey
Night was unbelievable,” Spivey said. “This is truly an honor.
“Every pitch I’ve seen in this place has been a pleasure.’’
Spivey, who is battling lung cancer, has been the PA announcer for
Kingsport since the team moved to Hunter Wright Stadium in 1995.
“As a matter of fact, Hunter Wright and I both threw out the first
pitches that night,” Spivey joked. “And all I’ll say is that my pitch
didn’t one-hop to the catcher.”
Prior to the game, Spivey was honored on the field by dignitaries from
the city of Kingsport as well as the K-Mets.
“Don is such an institution here in Kingsport,’’ said K-Mets general
manager Roman Stout. “He has great support throughout the community.
“The thing that inspires me about Don is that in spite of what he is
going through, he shows up here at the ballpark every night and doesn’t
miss a beat.’’
Spivey easily identified the source of his inspiration behind the
“It’s all about the kids,’’ he said. “You want them to have a great time
at the game. If they do, then they’ll want to come back.”
He was also quick to acknowledge his sidekick in the press box.
“Eddie Durham and I have worked together a long time up in that press
box,’’ Spivey said. “Trust me, there’s never a dull moment.’’
For all that he has done for the K-Mets, the city of Kingsport unveiled
letters across the front of the press box designating it as the “Don
Spivey Press Box.”
“When I saw my name up on the press box I was amazed,’’ Spivey said.
“I’m literally stunned by this honor.’’
Back on the diamond, Bluefield’s Javan Williams drove in the eventual
game-winning run in the top of the seventh inning, giving the Blue Jays
a 4-3 win.
Kingsport’s Cam Maron put his team on top 3-1 in the bottom of the fifth
with a home run over the right-field fence.
Bluefield (24-17) rallied right back with two runs in the top of the
sixth to tie it at 3. When Williams stroked a single in the seventh,
Aaron Munoz raced home from second base with the winning run.
Maron finished with two hits, two runs scored and an RBI for Kingsport
(19-22), which is off tonight. The K-Mets return to action Wednesday
when they host Elizabethton at 7 p.m.
For the record, former Kingsport mayor Hunter Wright has a different
recollection of those first pitches from Spivey and him at the stadium
opener in ’95.
“While it certainly could not have been called a strike, all I’ll say is
that my pitch did not one-hop to the plate,’’ Wright said.