For more than 60 years,
a publication centered on life in Mississippi.
Today is June 3, 2020

A dream come true

By Dale McKee

A dream come true

Squeaky Parker tossing out first pitch at Pensacola Blue Whaoos game with former Detroit Tiger Travis Fryman.

Laurel native Kenny Parker, affectionately known as “Squeaky,” could name his autobiography “A Dream Come True.” He has been getting paid to play, scout or manage one of his loves — baseball — for the past 55 years. Last year, at the age of 82, he was consulting Dan Jennings of the Washington Nationals. Jennings is an assistant general manager with the World Champs.

Parker, an exceptionally talented baseball player, grew up in the west side of Laurel. Ole Miss baseball coach Tom Swayze noticed his talents, but, in the end, Parker signed with the Baltimore Orioles. He was shipped off to Thomasville, Georgia, with the remaining Orioles minor leaguers. While playing, Parker, a feisty player known for arguing with umpires, was dubbed “Squeaky” by his manager who told him, “Hey you squeak when you argue with the umpires.” That nickname has stuck to this day. Squeaky’s pro playing career, unfortunately, came to an abrupt end after he broke his ankle sliding into second base during a game.

After almost a decade of playing with various semi-pro baseball teams from Laurel, West Point and Jackson, he became a contact for the Boston Red Sox scout Frank Bolling.

Finally, in February of 1970, Squeaky was asked by the Baltimore Orioles to help in their scouting office. Since then he has also worked for the Phillies, Giants, Reds, Pirates and the Major League Scouting Bureau.

Squeaky has touched many lives in the game, and his impact on others was evident when 16 active Major League Baseball players attended the funeral for his wife Carolyn in 2010.

Today, Squeaky is living back in Laurel after years of living in Pensacola. “The game has been good to me, and I have no regrets,” Squeaky said.

 

Q&A with Squeaky

Q: What is your top honor in baseball?
A: Scouting Hall of Fame Award in 2018 and being part of two World Series organizations with the 1970 Orioles and 1980 Phillies

Q: Who do you think is the best baseball player today?
A: Mike Trout of the Angels

Q: Who is the best native Mississippian to play in the majors?
A: Jake Gibbs

Q: Who is the best team ever?
A: Jesus Christ’s team is No. 1

Q: Who was your favorite team growing up?
A: St. Louis Cardinals

Q: Who was your favorite player growing up?
A: Stan “The Man” Musial of the Cardinals. He was the line drive hitting machine.

Q: Who is the best hitter of all time?
A: Ted Williams

Q: Who is the best defensive player ever?
A: Brooks Robinson

Q: Who is the best pitcher you have ever seen?
A: Bob Gibson

Q: Who is the most interesting baseball figure you have ever talked to?
A: Ted Williams

Q: What was the best era of baseball?
A: When Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris were playing for the Yankees.

Q: Who are some of the local players you have signed?
A: Will Clark, Jeff Brantley and Charlie Hayes. I also helped high school players by contacting college coaches. One was Buck Showalter. The best prospect I signed up, though, was my second wife, Carolyn. I was scouting the American Legion tournament in Greenville when I discovered her.

Q: What do you think of the Houston Astros sign stealing?
A: No big deal.

Q: What do you think about Pete Rose and the Hall of Fame?
A: That’s a joke. It’s what you do on the field. Not everyone in the hall is a choirboy.

Q: Did a major league player actually give you a new car?
A: Travis Fryman bought me a new car after he signed his first major league contract with the Tigers.

Dale McKee is a Waynesboro native who has been writing sports in Mississippi since 1973. Contact him at ddmckee18@yahoo.com.

Site designed by Marketing Alliance, Inc.