CLASS OF 1992
Harry Babcock arrived at the University of Georgia in 1949 from West Nyack, NY. A fullback in high school, Babcock switched to receiver in 1950. When the Bulldogs signed quarterback Zeke Bratkowski they transformed from a running team to having one of the country’s most potent passing attacks. Babcock was certainly a beneficiary of the new style. He caught 41 passes for two touchdowns his junior season. In his senior campaign, Babcock was second in the SEC in receiving earning All-SEC honors as well as being selected first-team All-America by the American Football Coaches Association. Babcock had 80 career receptions at UGA between 1950-52 and finished his career with 1,199 receiving yards. Surprisingly, he was the first player selected in the 1953 NFL draft by the San Francisco 49ers because they needed a receiver. With injuries hampering his pro career, Harry would play three seasons for the 49ers catching only 16 passes. He played one year in the CFL before retiring.
JAMES BAGBY, JR.
James Charles Jacob (Jim) Bagby Jr. was born in Cleveland but migrated to Georgia when his father Jim Bagby, Sr. was pitching for the Atlanta Crackers. Like his father, Jim, Jr. could pitch at a young age and with his father’s help, he was able to get a tryout with the Boston Red Sox who signed the younger Bagby to a minor league deal. In 1938, against the world champion New York Yankees, the 21 year old Bagby, Jr. made his Major League debut and won the game 8-4. Bagby, Jr. pitched in relief for Cleveland in 1941 and on July 17th, he retired Yankee great Joe DiMaggio putting an end to the famous 56 game hitting streak. The following season, Jim posted a 17-9 record with a 2.96 ERA earning a trip to the All-Star game. He completed his 10-year career with an overall record of 97-96 including 13 shutouts. The Bagbys became the first father-and-son combination to pitch in the World Series when Jim Jr. appeared for the 1946 Red Sox. His father, Jim Sr. had pitched in the 1920 series for the Indians.
William Alexander (Bill) Curry was born in College Park and the football star went right up the road to Georgia Tech to play for legendary coach Bobby Dodd in 1962. He was a three-year starter at center for the Jackets and team captain in 1964. He was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the final round of the 1964 NFL Draft. By his second season, Curry was the starting center for the Super Bowl I champions. Eventually Curry would end up in Baltimore and become the Colts' starting center during their NFL Championship season of 1968. Curry would also play with Houston and the L.A. Rams during his pro career which ended in 1974. Bill entered the coaching ranks and became head coach at his alma mater in 1980. After six seasons, Curry took the Alabama job from 1987-1989 and led the Tide to the SEC Championship in ’89. However, he left Bama over a contract dispute and became the head man at the University of Kentucky from 1990-1996. Curry won 93 games as a college coach and also served as a television analyst for ESPN before returning to the sidelines as head coach at Georgia State in 2010.
Claud Lester (Deek) Derrick was born in Burton and played football and baseball at the University of Georgia. Derrick was a football letterman in 1908 and four-year letterman in baseball from 1906-1909 serving as team captain his senior year. He was UGA’s first player to play in the Major Leagues when Philadelphia Athletics' owner Connie Mack signed him in 1910. He made his pro debut on September 8th and would play 3 seasons with the A’s including their World Championship teams of 1910 and 1911. Claud would spend the 1913 season with the New York Yankees and then in his final season he split time between Cincinnati and Chicago. In 5 big league seasons, Derrick batted .242 with 79 career hits and one career home run.
Gardner Edward Dickinson, Jr. was born in Dothan, Alabama but his family moved to Macon when he was a boy. Gardner led Lanier High School to State golf titles in 1944, ’45 and ’47. Dickinson was a student of Ben Hogan and crafted his swing in the Hogan tradition. He played college golf at LSU, where he and teammate Jay Hebert led the Tigers to the National Title in 1947. In a long PGA Tour career, he won seven times between 1956 and 1971. Among his professional wins: the 1968 Doral Open and the 1969 Colonial Invitational when he fired a final round 66 to beat Gary Player by one stroke. In his last win, the 1971 Atlanta Classic, he beat Jack Nicklaus in a sudden-death playoff. During his PGA Tour career, Dickinson competed in 12 Masters Tournaments. He played on the 1967 and 1971 Ryder Cup teams and compiled an impressive 9–1–0 match record, one of the best winning percentages in Cup history. In team Ryder Cup play, he never lost a match with partner Arnold Palmer (5–0). Dickinson was one of the founders of the Senior PGA Tour (now Champions Tour).
David Marion Dupree was born in Clemson, S.C. received a Bachelor degree from Johnson C. Smith University in 1948 where he was a standout football player. Dupree received his Master of Science degree in Physical Education from New York University in 1958. He then entered the coaching ranks landing at Lucey Laney High School in Augusta where he became the Wildcats’ head football coach in 1958. In the first nine years of Dupree’s 26-year football coaching stint, Laney dominated the GIA. The 1961 team, led by future pro Emerson Boozer, claimed the State Championship. In 1966, the Wildcats went 12-0 winning another Championship, their defense allowing an average of 4.6 points a game. He was named Georgia Coach of the Year in 1962 and 1966. Dupree compiled a record of 209-79-12 and also headed the Laney Track program from 1949-1974. In 2009, Laney honored Dupree during halftime of a home football game, unveiling the David Dupree Field at Lucy C. Laney Memorial Stadium.
William Waller Hearn ironically nicknamed “Tiny” was a 6’9” basketball standout from Eatonton who played collegiately at Georgia Tech from 1924-1927. As the tallest player on the court, Hearn could dominate a game because there was a center jump after every basket throughout most of his career. After lettering at Tech, Hearn played professionally and he helped lead Rochester to the American Basketball League finals in 1930. Tiny averaged 2 points during his 278-game career with the Rochester Centrals, Trenton Moose, Newark Mules and Kingston Colonials. His final season was in 1937. He also played professional baseball spending 2 seasons in the Boston Braves minor league system. Hearn’s son Billy became a standout athlete at his father’s rival school, the University of Georgia.
Alex McCaskill from Bainbridge was a three-sport standout excelling in baseball, basketball, and football. He attended the University of Georgia and was a football letterman for head coach Wally Butts in 1938 and 1939. As good as he was in football, he was even better on the hardwood and baseball diamond. McCaskill was a three-year basketball letterman earning first team ALL-SEC honors in 1940. He was also first team All-SEC Tournament that year. On the baseball field, Alex was the conference Most Valuable Player in 1940. He immediately went into coaching at nearby Athens High School becoming head football coach. His success as a player quickly transcended to the sidelines as he guided Athens High (now Clarke Central) to a State Championship.
A native of Kingsport, Tennessee, Harold Maurice (Hal) Miller attended Dobyns-Bennett High School earning All-State, All-Southern, and All-American in football. During his senior year, Hal set the state record in shot put. He and four of his high school teammates attended Georgia Tech on scholarship. At Tech, Hal lettered for three seasons, was All-SEC for two years, and was a consensus All-American at offensive tackle during his senior year. He co-captained Georgia Tech's 1952 National Championship Team that beat Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl. In August of 1953, Miller was voted to play in the College All-Star Game held in Chicago. Upon graduating from Tech, Hal was drafted in the fifth round by the San Francisco 49ers. He played one season before entering military service. Despite being asked to return to play for San Francisco after his military service ended, Hal decided to return to his hometown of Kingsport and start a business career. Hal was inducted into the Georgia Tech Athletic Hall of Fame as well as the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.
STEPHEN SCHMIDT, SR.
Stephen J. Schmidt Sr. was from Moorestown, N.J. He was ten years old when his parents were killed in an accident. Stephen lived in an orphanage before being taken in by a doctor's family and becoming a standout high school football player. Oglethorpe University offered him a football scholarship, and he hitchhiked from New Jersey to Georgia to attend college. The appreciation he had for the offer from Oglethorpe was a driving influence in his life. The campus where the 1940 graduate played football features a residence hall and recreation center named in his honor and offers the Schmidt Endowed Scholarship. As a B-29 bomber pilot in World War II, Schmidt named his plane the Stormy Petrel for Oglethorpe's mascot and flew the last raid over Tokyo before the Enola Gay dropped the atomic bomb. In addition to his support of Oglethorpe, Schmidt was a stockholder in the Atlanta Crackers and a founding member of the Braves 400 Club. An Atlanta Tipoff Club basketball supporter award is named in his honor.