Dedicated to the youth for years, head recreation baseball coach Terry Moore uses the talent and love he amassed over nearly 20 years of playing baseball to positively affect the lives of this community’s children.
“Everything I do is for the kids — doesn’t matter who they are or what kind of background they have,” said Moore. “It’s all about providing an outreach to those who are less fortunate and it’s also a way to keep them occupied, out of the streets and out of trouble.”
Moore has played baseball for a long time. After graduating high school, he spent 15 to 20 years playing on the road with a travel team before giving up his days as a player. Before hanging up his glove, putting down his bat and walking away from baseball for good, he realized he could more.
“After I graduated, I spent many years playing with a travel team out of Virginia,” said Moore. “Then after I stopped playing I woke up one day and realized that I could being doing more with what I learned and got from baseball instead of just calling it quits. Thanks to the grace of God I’m now in a place where I can use my talents to give back to the community and positively affect the lives of those in my community.”
Currently he runs four recreation teams of ranging ages. His youngest is a 10U boys team, then the 15U boys team along two high school level teams which include 16-18U men with 14U and up for girls.
While they may be recreation teams, they are not just out there playing for fun, as they continuously compete with rec teams from all over. Prime examples of this were during last season when they either came out on top or were second place finishers in all tournaments in which they competed, with the only exception being a fourth-place finish.
They haven’t slowed down either. Their most recent accomplishment came this past weekend in Aiken, S.C. The 15U boys team, the Carolina Outlaws, traveled to compete in the Top Gun 15U Open Division Tournament, where they emerged as champions.
Moore has a full plate these days, owning his own trucking business while working at Clinton Appliance, on top of being a coach for rec. He has spent much time in his coaching career traveling to help other rec organizations before running his teams here in Sampson County. That left him often exhausted and made him rethink traveling around to coach.
“I’ve been doing this for years and coached many teams, traveling all over with teams while working full-time. At one point it became too much and I thought to myself, is all this really worth it? Then when I realized how much I was helping these kids, I knew the answer,” he said.
The thought of providing an outreach to troubled kids kept him going.
He turned his attention to the local rec program here in Sampson County. Having youth come to him in his local community instead of having to go to them has helped lighten his burden. Moore also noted that some local kids couldn’t afford to play rec ball, because some teams were too costly just to try out.
“I knew that if I continued doing this that I had to stay local and stop traveling so far, which led me here,” Moore said. “Plus it helps out kids locally in need being that it’s more cost efficient. Since being local I’ve kept everything nonprofit so anyone can play for me free of charge. This helps a lot to because just trying out for some rec teams can be very expensive and keep them from participating.”
He pushed to provide a cost-free program that everyone could join, as many of his players come from low-income situations that prevent them from playing. Giving them something to do ultimately keeps them out of trouble too.
With a smile across his face the entire time he talked about the venture, Moore’s passion for helping youth in need shined through.
“My motto is to always give 110 percent, because giving it 100 is only average and if the kids see you giving it your best all the time, they’ll respect that and follow that as well. Also, I can’t say enough that this is all thanks to God, but I can’t forget to thank the parents too, because without them we wouldn’t even be out here,” concluded Moore.
Reach Michael Hardison at [email protected] Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.