Hartselle High shortstop Brett Blackwood signs a national letter of intent to play baseball at UAB on Wednesday. Seated with him are his parents, John and Tabatha Blackwood of Hartselle. Standing, from left, are his coaches John Hall, head coach Booth, Jerry Childers and his brother, Colin Blackwood. | Clif Knight
Hartselle High shortstop Brett Blackwood signs a national letter of intent to play baseball at UAB on Wednesday. Seated with him are his parents, John and Tabatha Blackwood of Hartselle. Standing, from left, are his coaches John Hall, head coach Booth, Jerry Childers and his brother, Colin Blackwood. | Clif Knight

Archived Story

Blackwood signs with UAB baseball

Published 3:41pm Thursday, November 14, 2013

Hartselle High School senior Brett Blackwood signed a grant-in-aid to play baseball for the University of Alabama-Birmingham Blazers at a signing ceremony in the school cafeteria Wednesday afternoon.

“What impressed me the most was their coaching staff,” Blackwood said in explaining why he chose UAB. “They were easy to get to know and they have the Blazers on a path of improvement. Plus, they play some of their home games at Regions Field, the home of the Birmingham Barons, and it’s just one hour from Hartselle.”

Blackwood is a three-year starter at shortstop for Hartselle High’s Tigers and a state record holder for the most hits in a single season. He recorded his best season as a junior, batting .488 and collecting 103 hits as a junior. Eighteen of those hits were homers.

“Brett has made a great decision,” said Hartselle head coach William Booth. “UAB has one of the best baseball coaching staffs in the country and he will have the opportunity to contribute to a very competitive team.”

“He’s probably the hardest worker I’ve ever had,” Booth said. “He’s the kind of player you like to be around.

“We have great plans for this year’s team,” he added. “Brett had an unbelievable junior year and I believe he is going to have another good year and help us get back to Montgomery.”

John Blackwood, Brett’s father, said his son started playing baseball at the age of four and fell in love with the game.

“He has never let up as far as his passion for baseball goes,” he said. “When he’s not in school he devotes most of his time to school work and baseball practice. You can find him at the practice facility most any time, even on nights, holidays and weekends.”

Blackwood is also catching the attention of professional scouts. He played fall ball on scout teams for the Kansas City Royals and New York Mets and was scouted recently during a workout by representatives of the Mariners and Marlins.

He also has a heart for young players.

Last summer to helped coach at a 10-12 baseball camp free of charge, according to Greg Muse, travel team coach for the 10U Southern Stars.

“He’s one of the most generous young men I’ve known, Muse stated.” He signed bats, balls and hats for the kids and it was something to see the smiles on their faces.

“He also befriended a boy on our team who suffered a heart attack,” Muse added. “While the boy was a patient at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, the UAB coaches visited him at Brett’s request.”

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