Coach Charles (Chase) L. Riddle, a long time resident of Troy, died Sunday, June 12, 2011, at his home surrounded by his family. He was 85.
Coach Riddle was born September 17, 1925, in Columbus, Georgia. He attended Jordan High School, where he was a member of the school’s 1943 State Basketball Championship Team. At the age of 17, he signed a professional baseball contract with the Boston Red Sox and began a career in baseball that spanned four decades. He was drafted as a shortstop, but he would eventually play every baseball position, including pitcher during his minor league career. He enlisted in the United States Navy and served three years in the South Pacific during World War II. Upon discharge, he returned to the Boston Red Sox Organization, and that same year entered Troy State Teachers College. While at Troy he played football and basketball and each spring, returned to play professional baseball. In 1950, he earned the Little All-American Honors as a fullback. In 1955, he joined the Saint Louis Cardinals Organization as a player/manager across the United States and Canada. In 1963, he became the Cardinals’ Scouting Supervisor for the Southeastern United States, Puerto Rico and Latin American countries. During his 28 years with the Cardinal Organization he signed many notable players including Steve Carlton, Hector and Jose Cruz and Coco Laboy. In 1978, he returned to his Alma Mater, Troy State University, as the head baseball coach. Coach Riddle led his teams to five Gulf South Conference Championships, six NCAA Central Region Championships and two NCAA National Division II World Series Championships.
Coach Riddle was inducted into the Troy University Baseball Hall of Fame, the Wiregrass Sports Hall of Fame, the Chattahoochee Valley Sports Hall of Fame and the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. Upon his retirement, his beloved University renamed the baseball field in his honor.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Edwin C. Riddle, Roy and Flora Rogers; and brother, Edwin C. Riddle, Jr. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Betty; two daughters, Debbie Dawkins and Sharon Ingram (Greg); four grandchildren, Chase Dawkins, Mandy Dawkins, Wes Johnson and Samantha Johnson; and one great-granddaughter, Kayla Dawkins; one niece, two nephews and numerous life long friends.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, June 14, 2011, at the First Baptist Church of Troy with Dr. Luke Lane, Pastor of First Baptist Church officiating. Burial will follow at Green Hills Memorial Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., prior to the service in the First Baptist Church Parlor.
Serving as active pallbearers will be Mike Russell, Mark Smartt, Ed Black, Greg Unger, Jody Ryan and Scott Baldwin. Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Troy University Athletic Department, former TSU baseball players, Robert Earl Stewart, Bill Sanford, Mike Amos, Butch Austin, Jerry Folmar, Dr. Don Jeffrey and Gene Dews.