Fab 40: Winston Groom, Steve Kittrell and Eddie Stanky

Winston Groom

Author and Historian
Born in Washington, D.C., Groom was raised in Mobile, attended UMS and graduated from the University of Alabama. He served in the U.S. Army from 1965 to 1969, including a tour of duty in Vietnam. Groom later worked as reporter for the Washington Star and retired at age 32 to write his first novel. In 1985, Groom moved back to Mobile and began to work on “Forrest Gump, ” which was adapted into a 1994 film starring Tom Hanks. Afterward, the novel sold 1.7 million copies. Today, Groom mostly writes books about American history. He lives in Point Clear with his wife and daughter.

Stanky and Kittrell

Foundations of Jaguar Baseball
Steve Kittrell and Eddie Stanky combined to make the University of South Alabama’s Jaguar baseball program one of the top in its division.

The late Edward Raymond Stanky first became head baseball coach of the University of South Alabama Jaguars in 1969.

As a player, he earned the nickname “The Brat, ” due to his style of play. He played second base and was a Major League Baseball manager.

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Stanky compiled a 488 – 193 (.717) record, with five NCAA Tournament appearances over 14 seasons. He returned to the professional arena briefly in 1977 as manager of the Texas Rangers, but he had second thoughts, resigned and resumed his post as coach at South Alabama. Stanky was inducted into the Mobile Sports Hall of Fame in 1990.

For 27 seasons, Kittrell continued the legacy of his mentor, Stanky. He earned his 1, 000th career win as head coach at South Alabama on March 12, 2010. He led USA to 18 NCAA Tournament appearances and 10 conference championships.

For the entire list of Bay Shapers, pick up a copy of Mobile Bay, on newsstands now. Click here for a list of who’s been highlighted online thus far.

John Sellers

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