PLAINS, Ga. (WRBL) – It’s one thing to play softball during south Georgia’s scorching hot summer.
But to play against the former President of the United States? That makes the game even more interesting.
But for many locals, the experience of playing against Jimmy Carter felt pretty normal.
“It’s nothing different,” said Larry Williams. “He’s just another fellow when it comes to this, but I give him credit to be his age and come play with us. “
That was in 2007, when Carter was 83.
According to the Plains Better Hometown Program, each year thousands of people from around the world make their way to the small town to learn about Carter and grab a handful of delicious peanuts.
“We have a thriving little town,” Williams said. “All the houses are full of people and we have an excursion here several times a week and have an average of 250 people per trip.”
It’s memories of spending his days on a peanut farm that took Carter back to his boyhood.
“Peanuts have been an important part of my life,” Carter said in 2007. “Ever since I was 5 years old. I used to boil them and take them to sell them in Plains for a dollar a day, which was as much as a grown man could make working in the field.”
The softball game featured President Carter coaching first base, as Plains High School alumni took on the United States Secret Service.
“He’s great,” said Vance Fye of the Secret Service. “Quite a gentleman and a very easy fellow to get along with, and we feel very fortunate to be here.”
Carter said he’s always loved the sport, and he’s played it most of his life.
“I pitched on one team and my brother Billy pitched on the other team,” Carter remembered. “I still have the same team and we play a relaxed but more enjoyable game.”