Charles Michael Harrington
Services will be held at 11:30 A.M. Saturday at Hulett-Winstead Funeral Home for Mr. Charles Michael "Micky" Harrington, 83, of Hattiesburg, MS who passed away, Wednesday, September 20, 2017 at Asbury Hospice House in Hattiesburg. Interment will be in Roseland Park Cemetery.
Mr. Harrington was an outstanding Mississippi athlete in baseball and basketball during the 1950’s with offers to play professional baseball by the Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies while still in high school. Averaging 25 points a game in basketball as a senior he was the very first Mississippi basketball player to play in the National All American All Star Game. Upon graduation in 1951 he was offered over thirty scholarships to play college basketball including Duke University and Kentucky. Instead, he chose to play at home for USM becoming a four-year starter in both sports. As a leading rebounder in basketball he helped guide the team to four consecutive NAIA Tournaments. Graduating from USM in 1956, he was drafted by the New York Nicks basketball team and six major league baseball teams, instead the U. S. Army claimed Micky as first draft choice. Elected to the national “All Army Baseball Team” in 1956 when he left the military the next year several pro basketball teams wanted him including the Minneapolis (now Los Angeles) Lakers but Micky chose baseball signing to play AAA baseball for the Philadelphia Phillies and several other minor league teams around the country for the next several years. Most seasons he batted between .290 and .316. In 1961 he won the prestigious “Silver Glove Award for best fielding average- minor league baseball’s equivalent to the renown Golden Glove Award in the major leagues. During his tenure in pro baseball Micky played with or for some of the game’s greats including Mel Stotlmeyer, Ferguson Jenkins, Chuck Tanner, L.A. Dodger owner Gene Autry and baseball legend Satchel Paige.
In 1964, Micky returned to Hattiesburg and back to Southern Miss later assisting USM Baseball under coach Pete Taylor and as an assistant basketball coach under Jeep Clark and M.K. Turk. In 1982 he moved to the Intermural Department he opened and built the USM Equestrian Center from scratch including a riding arena, barn and 3,000 seat set of bleachers. Ever the athlete, into his 60’s and 70’s Micky took up cycling competing in Triathlons and the Senior Olympics. Fifteen times he attended the State of Mississippi Senior Olympics in cycling and three times he won positions to attend the national Senior Olympics.
Mickey was a past President of the State 4-H Program and is a member of the USM Sports Hall of Fame. After 28 years of service to Southern Miss, Harrington retired in 1996 leaving a legacy of athletic records and benevolent contributions most notably the creation of the Southern Miss Coca-Cola Classic Rodeo, which continues today in funding many scholarships and leadership academy stipends for students. He was also a member of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church.
Mr. Harrington was preceded in death by his parents, William Patrick Harrington and Eleanor Francis Harrington and his brother, E.L. "Doc" Harrington.
He is survived by his wife, Neely Jane Carpenter Harrington; two daughters, Heather Harrington Knopp and Hope Harrington Venus; a brother, W.P. "Pat" Harrington, Jr and two grandchildren, Alexandra Knopp and Logan Venus.
Visitation will begin at 9:30 A.M. until service time at 11:30 A.M. Saturday at Hulett-Winstead Funeral Home.