By Sinead Juday
When Susan Grubbs first started coaching softball for Clarke County High School, the field was “too small and behind the Presbyterian church with only a few benches and rusty backstop,” says her sister, Kim Braithwaite. Now, many years later, the new and enhanced softball field is dedicated to their father, Charles O. Grubbs, who was responsible for these improvements.
In the spring of 2001, the Clarke County High School softball field was first dedicated to Charles. Recently, a ceremony was held to rededicated the field to Grubbs following his death in October. On March 10, his family, friends, and the Clarke community gathered to celebrate the significant improvements that Grubbs had made, not only to the Clarke County High School softball field and program, but to the lives of many people.
After retiring in 1992, Grubbs took on the task of fixing up the Clarke County High School softball field. He spent most of his newfound free time soliciting people to assist him in upgrading the field and seeking out more who could help fund these improvements so the softball program wouldn’t have to bear all of the cost. Grubbs helped lead the way to build the visitor’s dugout, the concession stand, and the press box while also improving the backstop and repairing the batting cage. These renovations have helped to enhance both the Clarke County High School softball field and the softball program.
Grubbs, however, did not expect nor need to be recognized for all the work he put into this project. When the field was first dedicated, it came as a surprise to Grubbs. Although he took great pride in the softball field, the mere satisfaction of improving the field and helping softball program was enough for Grubbs. He took this on as a personal project.
As well as coordinating contributions for the softball program, he could often be seen mowing, digging holes, or trying to get water off the field himself. According to his family, Grubbs’ dedication to the field and joy for helping the softball program are some of the many virtues that possessed. These qualities are what inspired the decision to dedicate the softball field to Grubbs.
Charles Grubbs wasn’t the only one of his family to be involved in softball in Clarke County. With Grubbs as a role model, each member of the Grubbs family has shown enthusiasm to assist in bettering the Clarke softball programs. His daughter Susan Grubbs, who is currently a math teacher and softball coach, has been a part of the softball scene for many years. Kim Brathwaite, another of Grubbs’ daughters, has also been very involved with Clarke County Little League softball and baseball.
Because the majority of his family contribute to the Clarke County High School softball program, many members were involved in the ceremony. His wife Shelby Grubbs threw the first pitch, and his grandchildren unveiled the new sign and scoreboard at the field. In addition to the scoreboard and sign, a chair with Grubbs’ jacket was displayed in the location where he often sat to watch the softball games.
“Is there anything I can do for you?” Grubbs would often say. His passion for helping others is echoed in this frequently spoken phrase. Even in the last couple years of his life, Grubbs was always looking for a way to help his family and to help others. The entirety of the Clarke softball community and all of Clarke County will remember Charles Grubbs for his humility, his dedication and his love for serving others.