In roller coaster season, Shelton gets 900th win
By Jim Turner

Posted on May 27, 2014 11:02 AM

Greg Shelton has been through a myriad of ups, downs and emotions this season. He also has endured great pain from kidney stones.

After his Russellville Panthers lost 8-6 to his former long-time school, Franklin-Simpson, in the 13th District Tournament last Monday, he wasn’t able to be at the finals the next night because of those stones.

Saturday, he reemerged to be at Lewisburg School, escorting his Lewisburg Legends Hall of Fame mom, Hattie Ruth Shelton, and to help honor his high school coach, Bob Birdwhistell. He said he is feeling much better but that his personal Stone Age is probably not over.

The early season must have been painful for him, too, as the Panthers couldn’t quite close the games with a win. And the final third of the season had to be special, since Russellville won 12 of its last 14 games, with both losses coming to F-S.

The tournament game was symbolic of the season. RHS stuggled early, falling behind 6-1, only to come back to within 7-6 before losing 8-6.

The highlight had to be his recording his 900th win as a high school head coach. The milestone came at Kelly Russell Field in the last home game of the season. The school, the team and the parents honored him appropriately.

His wife Kathy, his mom and other members of his family were present. Superintendent Leon Smith was involved in the presentations.

Renee Stratton wrote the commentary with help from Jennifer Clark and Tim Summers. The following announcement was read by Artis Stratton:

“We have known that we have a very special coach, but after tonight he has made his coaching career even more special and we, the RHS Baseball players, parents, and fans, have gotten to share in this exciting night.


“Coach Shelton coached 29 years with Franklin-Simpson High School having 676 wins and 7 years with Beech High School in Hendersonville, Tenn. having 189 wins. He has spent the last two years with Russellville High School and as of tonight has 35 wins. 


“His coaching career started in Logan County with the American Legion team where he coached two of his present coaches in Legion ball, Coach Johnny White and Coach Greg Owen.  He has also coached a third member of his RHS coaching staff, Coach Tim Summers, from 1989 to 1993 at Franklin-Simpson.


“Coach Shelton grew up playing baseball for Lewisburg High School and went on to play college baseball for Western Kentucky University where he was an All American.


“In the 38 years he has coached, he has won 8 Regional Championships, 12 District Championships, and the KHSAA State Championship in 1991.  He also went back to the State Final 4 in 1999.  Throughout the years, he has coached many players who have gone on to play in the minor and major leagues including Major League Pitcher Joe Blanton, who played for the A’s, Phillies, and just recently the Angels.


“In 1997 Coach Shelton was inducted into the very first Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) Hall of Fame.


“Franklin-Simpson baseball field was named in his honor, and is still named to this day “Greg Shelton Field.”


“After leaving Franklin, Coach Shelton spent the next seven years as the head coach of Beech High School. Within the first three years of his coaching career there, he took the class 3A team to the Tennessee State Final Four.


“Russellville High School has been honored to have Coach Shelton for the last two years.


“Coach Shelton, we would like to present you with this token to celebrate this legendary milestone.


“The Russellville Baseball Team would like to welcome you to the 900 CLUB……..


“As of tonight’s win, Coach Shelton has celebrated a victory 900 times.  We have a trophy we would like to present to you engraved with the following statement:”




900th Club

Congratulations Coach Greg Shelton on your 900th High School Baseball win.

Victories with Franklin-Simpson, Beech and Russellville High Schools combined for these 900 wins in a coaching career.

Thank you for allowing Russellville School District and RHS Baseball to share in this distinguished achievement.


May 15, 2014



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