Fifty Years and Counting

Local Little League Coach Honored at Opening Ceremony

 By Adam Black

The Ashland Beacon

Photo by: Adam Black| Senator Robin Webb presenting Charlie Parks with an award for 50 years of coaching.

As the bright lights came on over Big Sandy Field, the lights shined just a little brighter for Little League coach Charlie Parks.
For 50 years Parks has been a coach for the Ashland Little League, and Friday was honored for his work with children.
“We want to give Charlie a round of applause for all his hard work,” Senator Robin Webb said during the opening season ceremony. “On behalf of the House and region delegation congratulations.”
Before Parks was honored at the ceremony, he was also surprised to find the official name of the Field had been named Charlie Parks Field.
“We tried to keep it a surprise from him, but you know Charlie he spends almost every minute at this field,” Little League Coach John Vincent said. “Everyone knows that he opens and closes this field, and if you are looking for Charlie this is where you can find him.”
Throughout the ceremony, Parks was also honored by Ashland City Commissioners Marty Gute and Matt Perkins who presented a Key to the City to Parks and proclaimed April 12, 2019, as Charlie Parks Day in The City of Ashland.
“That Key will get you into the Mayor’s office,” Perkins said to Parks Jokingly.
Commissioners Larry Brown and Randy Stapleton of the Boyd County Fiscal Court also presented Parks with honor as well as the Ashland Little League.
“We want to thank you Charlie and the Ashland Little League for coaching our youth,” Brown said.
While remaining humble throughout the opening ceremony, Parks said he felt honored to be recognized for his work, but didn’t do it to be recognized.
“It’s very nice, but it doesn’t matter to me,” Parks said. “I’m glad I can be here for another year, and with the kids, that’s it.”
Parks said he caught the coaching bug when his son started playing Little League when it was back by Hatcher Elementary.
“We started going there, and then I haven’t left,” Parks said followed by a laugh.
Since 1974, Parks has been coaching with his current team the Mets. Throughout his coaching time for the Little League, he said he has learned a lot and grown from the experience.

“It’s really been a great time,” Parks said. “To watch these kids grow up and become great members of our community that’s what it’s all about.”
When asked what his favorite part of coaching was, Parks replied quickly with a pointing of the finger at the Mets Little League team.
“It’s not all about wins it’s about the kids,” Parks said. “Although I am very fortunate to have won a lot more than I’ve lost.”
With 50 years under his belt Parks said he is not sure how many more years he will continue to coach.
“I am taking it day by day, something could happen tomorrow,” Parks said. “For right now though, I’m ready to go play ball.”