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J.D. "Sarge" Tanner

 
While serving in the U.S. Army during WWII, Tanner played for his base camp (Ft. Blanding Doughboy 9) where his 2 year batting average of .354 led his team.  After his discharge, he signed to play baseball with the New York Giants.  He played class C ball in Thomasville, GA. And class B ball in Montgomery.  He moved to Florence in 1946 and began playing for the Reynolds Ramblers. In 1953, he organized and chartered the local Babe Ruth Baseball League to serve 13-15 year olds in the Shoals Area.  This was among the first Babe Ruth Leagues established in the state of Alabama.  This marked the beginning of Tanner directing and coaching youth baseball for over 30 years.  Tanner became Athletic Director for the Florence Park and Recreation Department in 1961 and remained as such for 23 years, until his retirement.  During his time, he served for 9 years as the National Director of Dixie Major Baseball, and was an officer for the Babe Ruth Baseball Organization.  He also served on the state board of directors for the Alabama Recreation and Parks Society and was presented the Merit in Recreation Award by this organization in 1981.