Player: Mark Morrison
Hometown: Gadsden, Alabama
Height / Weight: 6’-0” / 190lbs
Position: 3rd Base
•All State - Baseball and Football
•4-Sport Letterman (Baseball/Football/Basketball/Track)
•Signed originally with Auburn University to play football and baseball
•Committed University of Alabama ~ Birmingham
•3 HR in 3 straight at bats (3 straight swings)
•Athlete of the Decade, 1970's~ Etowah County
•All Region 10
•MVP Charity Bowl ~1979
•Captain of the Baseball and Football teams
Had # retired by Gadsden City High School and proclamation made by Mayor Steve Means
From Mayor Steve Means Proclamation and Speech:
The closing of three major high school and the commencement of the new Gadsden City High School presented the City of Gadsden Alabama with an opportunity to recognize a past athlete in a very unique way by retiring a number of a past “great” who not only excelled on the athletic field, but also demonstrates the type of athlete and individual that we want all of our kids to emulate going into the future with Gadsden City High School. Recently, the city embarked on a campaign to accept nominations from special groups representing each of the three schools. Three major considerations were considered: athletic accomplishment, classroom accomplishment, and character on and off of the field of play.
It is with great pride and honor that we recognize Mark Morrison, class of 1979, Gadsden High School. Mark was a four sport letterman and was the last such athlete at Gadsden High School. Mark lettered in Football, Baseball, Basketball, and Track. He was All-Region and All-State in both Football and Baseball. As a quarterback, he threw for over 2100 yards in his senior season. As captain of the baseball team, he hit .512 in his senior season and led the Tigers to the Alabama High School State Championship and was named MVP. He also started as a point guard on the basketball team that went to the quarter finals of the State Championship. While the accomplishments on the field are impressive, they are even more impressive considering that he graduated in the Top 10 of his senior class and was in the National Honor Society.
Mark went on to star at the University of Alabama, Birmingham playing for the famous Harry “the Hat” Walker. In his first at bat in college, Mark hit a grand slam off Bobby Thigpen to beat the eventual National Champions, Mississippi State. His senior season was highlighted by the fact that they were ranked 12th in the final 1983 College Baseball poll and Mark was Sun Belt Tournament MVP. Later, the all conference player was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals and also played for the U.S. National Team that won the gold medal in the Goodwill Games played in Tokyo Japan. While in college, Mark started at every position, except for pitcher, at least one game and the 1947 national league batting champ often stated that Mark was the most versatile athlete that he had ever coached. He considered Mark almost like a son and the two experienced a unique coach/ player relationship that lasted until the ex-major league great past away.
Mark’s character should shine as a great example for the present and future students of Gadsden City High School. He exemplified leadership qualities and continues to do so in his adult life of fathering three daughters. When the student athletes want a roadmap to point to achieving success, they should look no further. It is with GREAT honor to retire his #12 jersey…….ladies and gentlemen….. Mark Morrison.
Morrison shown here catching the final out of the High School State Championship against Enterprise.
All information is the property of Jimmy Smothers, Gadsden Times