Harlem baseball coach Jimmie Lewis wins 800th game
HARLEM, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Harlem head baseball coach Jimmie Lewis picked up his historic 800th win last week when the Bulldogs beat Grovetown 6-1.
Lewis started coaching at his alma mater Harlem back in 1976. In 1979, he took over as the head coach. He made an immediate impact, winning the state title in his first season. He’d go on to win four more, in 1981, 1982, 1983, and 1986.
Throughout his more than 40 years in the dugout, Lewis has seen hundreds of players come through Harlem. He still keeps up with many to this day, even some from his first team.
“During baseball season, a lot of my players come back,” Lewis said. “I like that a lot. It’s kind of like my kids coming back.”
Going into the state quarterfinals last season, Lewis was sitting on 798 wins. He fell just short of the 800 win milestone, as the Bulldogs were eliminated after dropping two games to Ringgold. The celebration had to be put on hold.
“Our main worry was that the firework fuses wasn’t gonna light,” Lewis said.
Players from all eras came back to watch Lewis win his 800th game this season. The team celebrated with a plaque, a banner, and those fireworks to honor their head coach.
When asked where that moment ranked among his best as a head coach, Lewis said it’s tough to beat state championships. He even said the two state championships he lost (1992 and 1999) are pretty memorable. But he said for the community, this was one of the best.
“Numerous other assistant coaches who have helped me through the years, and the hundreds of ball players who have won those games. And we’ve got a fantastic fanbase that follows us everywhere we go,” he said. “So the fans, the players, and the coaches kind of share this 800 together.”
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