By Madison Port
Spring Intern in The Citadel Media Relations Office &
Grandson of Hall of Fame Citadel Baseball Coach Chal Port
As a grandson of former Citadel baseball coach Chal Port, I have many stories to share about the influence he had on me. His influence transcends not only baseball but life in general.
I can remember vividly going to visit “Pop Pop”, which is what family members called him. Every weekend in the offseason between the conclusion of football and the start of baseball, I went to his house to take batting practice off the JUGS pitching machine.
It feels like yesterday seeing “Pop Pop” sitting in his fold-up chair, cane by his side, sun shining brightly and Casey, the family dog, chasing the balls in the backyard.
At the end of our batting session, Pop Pop would set the machine to throw curve balls and would also joke about my curve ball hitting skills – or lack thereof. This is just a small sample of the many countless stories growing up as Chal Port’s grandson.
Pop Pop was such a huge influence not only in my life, but in lives of many. His passion for baseball was only a minor part of what made him so great.
He had a great knack for getting the most out of his players and this was proven by The Citadel’s dramatic and historic run to the 1990 College World Series in Omaha.
Personally, I believe it’s one of the best Cinderella stories in the history of college baseball. My grandfather’s dedication and hard work in every aspect of life has been the biggest influence on me.
Seeing all of the people that my grandfather has impacted in his life is special and remarkable, and one of the best things Pop Pop has told about baseball, and also in life, is that dedication, hard work and perseverance builds true character.
Chal Port was a perfect fit here at The Citadel because of his personality and his military background, and my grandfather instilled those great qualities in me.
I will forever cherish the moments I got to spend with such an incredible man.