2008-01-23 / Front Page

Broxton honored

By Diana Royal Staff Writer

A young fan looks on with admiration as Jonathan Broxton autographs a baseball. STAFF -  DIANA ROYAL A young fan looks on with admiration as Jonathan Broxton autographs a baseball. STAFF - DIANA ROYAL The heavy rains and cold air didn't keep the crowd away on Saturday when the Burke County Recreation Department complex was renamed for Jonathan Broxton.

Fans, young and old alike, filed into the Citizens Park gymnasium, not just for shelter but to get a glimpse of their favorite Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher.

Many local dignitaries were present for the dedication of Jonathan Broxton Park, including all five county commissioners, Jimmy Dixon, Henry Tinley, Wayne Crockett, Alphonso Andrews and Lucious Abrams, as well as Waynesboro Mayor George DeLoach.

The 23-year-old pitcher sat with a quiet smile on his face alongside his wife, Elizabeth, and parents, Randy and Essie Broxton, as Dixon and Tinley, along with close family friend Jay Glisson and county administrator Merv Waldrop, shared stories about watching Broxton grow from a young T-ball player into a Major League Baseball success.

Before unveiling a picture of the new sign, Dixon read from the proclamation several reasons why they chose to name the complex after Broxton - one being that he has served as a positive role model to the citizens of Burke County by demonstrating the importance of hard work, perseverance and humility.

"It made me feel so grateful to all the people who have supported me and helped me growing up and working toward my Major League goals," Broxton said after the dedication ceremony. "Having the rec. park named for me is an honor that I will try to live up to throughout my career."

During his senior year, Broxton set nine records as a member of the Burke County High School Bears baseball team and was drafted by the Dodgers as the 60th overall pick in the 2002 draft. In July 2005, Broxton made his MLB debut and was recently chosen as one of the 10 best setup men in the league. For this past season, Broxton is credited with 32 holds, which earned him a fifth place ranking among pitchers in both the American and National leagues. He's ranked second among fulltime relievers in both leagues with 99 strikeouts. He had a 4-4 win loss record and a 2.85 ERA.

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