By Jake Winfrey
The Cullman Times
Donald Drummond knows a thing or two about winning.
Having spent the majority of his athletic career on the baseball diamond, the 1969 West Point graduate notched close to 200 career wins as a pitcher playing 20 years of independent baseball.
Drummond will now step off the mound and into the Cullman County Sports Hall of Fame as one of 11 inductees who will be honored in a ceremony at the Civic Center on April 27.
“It’s a tremendous honor even though I don’t think I deserve it,” Drummond said with a laugh. “I feel like there’s a lot more people out there who are just as deserving as I am.”
As an athlete, Drummond played just one season of baseball with the Warriors. He suited up for the basketball team for two years, even earning All-County honors his freshman season. He was appropriately deemed “Most Athletic” by his senior classmates as well.
Following high school, he went off to St. Bernard College, where he spent three years on the mound playing for coach Charlie Richards, who Drummond said helped him develop a deep appreciation for the game of baseball.
“I have a very high respect for the man,” Drummond said. “He was very good to me and actually gave me a really good scolding one time that prepared me for the rest of my years.”
One of Drummond’s most vivid memories came in his college debut, where he tossed three scoreless innings at Birmingham Southern College.
“I remember going out there and being scared to death,” he said. “But they ended up not even getting a ball out of the infield on me. Other than some wins over Jacksonville State, that may have been the highlight of my playing career.”
After he hung up his cleats, Drummond became a successful coach at West Point in both basketball and baseball over a 22-year span.
He compiled a 176-82 record in 14 years of junior high basketball, recording two county championships and one undefeated season.
The multi-sport coach was just as good as the head man of the junior high girls team, collecting 106 wins over 11 seasons, including three straight county championships — 1984-1986 — and two undefeated seasons.
Drummond notched a 1980 county championship on the baseball field, as well as an area championship in 2002. He also coached several youth teams throughout his career.
One of the best parts of his coaching tenure, however, comes from a fathers’ perspective.
“I really enjoyed having the opportunity to coach my sons,” Drummond said. “It was a good feeling even though I was probably too hard on them. It was a great honor, though.”
The coach said he has had the privilege of coaching many great athletes over the course of his career and has even turned out some good, present-day coaches, including Cold Springs’ basketball coach Tim Burleson and West Point’s basketball coach Randy Jones.
“For me, my favorite part of coaching all these young men was watching them improve from year to year,” Drummond said. “Some of them didn’t come up in the best living situations, so I tried to instill something in them growing up that would help them later in their lives. I tried to instill that as well as the priority of God coming first.”
Sports have a different way of reaching out to different athletes across the world, but Drummond found one particular area of his life to be most affected by his career choice.
“It taught me the meaning of discipline and the value of work ethic,” he said. “Not only in sports but in life.”
% Jake Winfrey can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 258 or at firstname.lastname@example.org