(Macon, Ga) – Few can argue the success of the initial season of the Macon Bacon in the Coastal Plains League (CPL). Of their 23 home games, 11 were sell outs and they out drew 16 professional minor league teams that had significantly more home dates, and their per game average was on par with the Rome franchise, who took the beloved Braves back in 2002. The success transcended the business aspect as the Bacon also qualified for the playoffs in their first season and the year culminated with Macon being named the 2018 Coastal Plain Organization of the Year.
In the middle of all the success is Manager Danny Higginbotham, who returns for his second season with the team. Higginbotham embodies exactly what the Macon Bacon and the CPL are all about, big dreams on the horizon, but also big opportunities at the doorstep. Higginbotham, who is also an assistant coach with the South Dakota State Jackrabbits, is living the baseball dream that started back in his home town of Bedford, Texas.
His playing journey went from Euless Trinity High School in Texas to Howard College and eventually to Arkansas Tech in Russellville, Arkansas. With his degree in hand, he tried his hand on the business side of baseball, first in the front office with the Fort Worth Cats organization and then to the Frisco RoughRiders. A connection he would make in Frisco would be pivotal for him down the road.
However, the coaching bug was always there. So, it was back to Russellville as a graduate assistant at his alma mater and then on to Iowa Central Community College in Iowa, where incidentally, he lived in a dorm room and now to Brookings, South Dakota.
His journey also took him to the CPL, where his connection from Frisco, Steve Delay, who was now co-owner of the Macon franchise, brought him to our city to provide leadership. He has flourished in Macon.
While his job description is the Manager, it is much deeper than that,
“My staff and I recruit 100% of the team, the front office gathers and sends inquiries and then we make the roster decisions. It is like giving 32 full rides for the summer. The players know this is a premiere league and they will be taken care of. They want to be here.”
After getting them to Macon, he is their coach, their mentor and whatever else they need.
He gets help from the front office and from the many host families that assist with the housing of the team. Higginbotham said,
“These host families and what they do is unbelievable, they buy into the kids’ lives, it is a special bond. I have a family I live with as well. They don’t get enough credit for what they do.”
The 2019 season kicks off on the road at their nemesis, the Savannah Bananas on Thursday, May 30, 2019. Higginbotham will finish up the season at South Dakota State and make the 18-hour drive to Macon to get back at it. Being back will certainly bring back some special moments for him. He said,
“Being in that stadium for opening night last year was the most special moment of my career so far.”
His goal is to eventually be the head coach of a Division 1 baseball program, but for now, he is living the dream in Macon, just like the players, the front office, the fans and the ownership.
“I am blessed to get to do what I do,”
is how he summed it up. They journey is long and tough at times, you just have to learn to enjoy every step on the path. Be sure to take in a game at Luther Williams this season, Go Bacon.