Morris Blackwell grew up in southwest Detroit and he remains a neighborhood fixture during the summer months at Clark Park.
Five days a week, all summer long, “Coach Mo” is on the baseball diamond at the park teaching the game to boys and girls.
He’s animated in his interactions with the youngsters and enthusiastic about the sport he loves, but Blackwell teaches more than just baseball at the park where he grew up.
“Times have changed, parent’s aren’t going to let their kids come to the park by themselves—so I guess I’m the organizational factor, I’m the safety factor,” Blackwell said.
“The parents, they bring their kids and sometimes they’re bringing six kids, but get ‘em here on time cause they’ve gotta be on time for school, for church, for work, try to get ‘em here on time,” said Blackwell. “Little lessons that we learn, life lessons—more important than baseball.”
Morris Blackwell teaches physical education at a middle school in Dearborn Heights. His summer job, for over 30 years, has brought him back to his roots.
“He’s really a good person to everybody,” said 9-year old Osvaldo Cabrales. ” He helps everybody to learn how to play baseball and he’s a really good coach.”
A total of 29 boys and girls took part on a recent warm and sunny day at the park. They’re the latest of the hundreds of kids Blackwell has impacted on the baseball diamond.
“There will be people driving by and a horn beeps and I just wave,” Blackwell. “My eyes are bad and I don’t know who it is, but it’s someone who either played here, or I’ve had their son, or I went to school with him in this neighborhood. It’s a nice feeling.”
Morris Blackwell –our Detroit 2020 Person of the Week.
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