GSC Baseball Receives Phil Niekro Memorial Scholarship Award

Gordon State College head coach Kent Rollins represented the Highlanders baseball program during a virtual banquet hosted by the Atlanta 400 Baseball Fan Club and accepted a $1,500 Phil Niekro Memorial Scholarship Award 

The Atlanta 400 Baseball Fan Club, formerly known as the Braves 400 Fan Club, annually presents two scholarship awards to college baseball programs in the state of Georgia and Gordon State College and the University of West Georgia were selected for 2021.

“We are extremely grateful and humble to be chosen by the Atlanta 400 Baseball Fan Club to receive the prestigious Phil Niekro Memorial Scholarship,” Rollins said. “With this scholarship, we’re able to offer the opportunity to play college baseball to a future Highlander who embodies the same characteristics that made ‘Knucksie’ so special.”

Niekro, inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997, was one of baseball’s most-renowned pitchers for his signature knuckleball during a career spanned 24 seasons, primarily in Milwaukee and Atlanta. Niekro passed away on December 27, 2020 after a long battle with cancer.

“We are thrilled that Wayne Coleman and the Atlanta 400 Baseball Fan Club thought enough of Gordon State College’s baseball program to award this scholarship award to us,” said Steve Argo, director of athletics. “Baseball is so popular in the state of Georgia and I want to say ‘thank you’ to everyone affiliated with the Atlanta 400 Baseball Fan Club. This gift will benefit a student-athlete at GSC who is striving to achieve academically and athletically.”

The banquet paid tribute to Niekro, honored local high school and college players as well as naming outstanding performances in the Braves minor league system. Everyone attending the banquet also paused to remember Hall of Famer Don Sutton, who passed away on January 18.

GSC will open its season on February 2 when the Highlanders travel to Chattahoochee Valley Community College in Phenix City, Ala.