Moultrie Observer

Local Sports

January 29, 2013

Colquitt County Hall of Fame member Jack Daughtry dies

MOULTRIE — Jack Daughtry gave up a promising professional baseball career in 1950 to do something more important.

He served his country with distinction as a member of the U.S. Army fighting in Korea, putting to use the competitiveness he learned on the fields and basketball courts of his native Colquitt County.

Daughtry, who was inducted into the Colquitt County Sports Hall of Fame in November, died Monday at his home at age 83.

A member of the U.S. Army’s 24th Infantry Division, Daughtry was one of the first Americans to see action during the Korean Conflict.

The 24th Infantry assisted in extracting the Third U.S. Marine Division and later ran three-day attacks above the 38th parallel, testing the enemy’s strength.

After fighting in the frigid temperatures of the Korean mountains, Daughtry was a member of his division’s baseball team in Japan before he returned to Colquitt County, where he remained the rest of his life.

Daughtry grew as a young athlete at the Moultrie YMCA, where he played for J.H. Kenney, also a member of the Colquitt County Sports Hall of Fame.

He played football and basketball for Moultrie High, but did not play baseball, perhaps his best sport.

Like many youngsters growing up in Colquitt County in the late 1940s, he had to work after school in the spring.

But his live arm earned him a tryout with Moultrie’s franchise in the Georgia-Florida League in 1949.

After making the team, his first season was cut short by an injury he suffered chasing fly balls before a game in Thomasville.

In 1950, he played for Morganton (N.C.) of the Western Carolina League, pitching well and playing some first base.

“I had a little hop on my fastball,” Daughtry said last fall before his Hall of Fame induction. “It was hard for them to hit it, seems like.”

A promotion to the Class AAA team in Asheville, N.C., in 1950 was not to be, however, when he received his draft notice.

After returning to Colquitt County, he never revived his baseball career, but remained involved in local athletics for much of the rest of his life.

He pitched in semi-professional and county leagues and also played basketball with future Hall of Famers Jim Buck Goff and Leon Manley and others.

He also coached youth baseball and softball for many years and became a high school football official and also  called junior college basketball games.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. today at Kingwood Baptist Church. He will be buried with military honors at Westview Cemetery.

 

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