March is National Reading Month, a whole month designated to encouraging Americans – and by extension Wacoans – to read! The Act Locally Waco blog is beating the drum for National Reading Month by hosting a blog series throughout the month of March, called “Books Matter.” Every day throughout March we will be sharing a post about a Waco resident and a book that matters to him/her. Thank you to students from the Baylor Department of Journalism, Public Relations and New Media and professor Amber Adamson for help with this fun project. To read all the blog posts so far, click here.
By Drake Toll
Baylor softball coach Glenn Moore has over 850 career wins, four appearances in the College Softball World Series and is Baylor Athletics’ active all-time wins leader across all sports. But aside from winning, one thing across his illustrious career has remained a constant: reading.
“When I do start reading, I have trouble putting a book down,” Moore said as he motioned to the books that line the top of his desk. “I just love reading.”
Moore’s all-time favorite read is a story for all ages, The Twelve Mighty Orphans: The Inspiring True Story of the Mighty Mites Who Ruled Texas Football by Jim Dent.
In the nonfiction story of unbelievable determination, hard-nosed football coach Rusty Russell marches into a Masonic Home outside of Fort Worth to lead a group of 12 orphans onto the gridiron in the middle of the Great Depression. The misfit bunch, known as the “Mighty Mites,” competed in the high-stakes world of Texas high school football, but that was hard to do without even having a ball.
“You have this team of 12 that goes against [a major school] for their very first game and they didn’t have a football,” Moore explained. “So [Russell] met with the opponent’s coach and asked him, if they won, could they have the football? And he kind of chuckled at him, and they ended up winning. So, they got to carry their first football back to their campus.”
That first win would be followed by many more as the Mighty Mites cemented their success story.
“[Rusty] built a program that became almost like a rallying cry during a difficult time in the history of the country — during the Depression era — where they became very, very popular,” Moore said.
The book has a special place in Moore’s heart, as it has parallels to his own family.
“What has drawn me so close to that book is the fact that we have three foster kids ourselves,” Moore said. “Knowing the difficulty those orphaned kids and kids that are in these foster situations have, there’s a connection there … it’s close to my heart knowing what our kids have had to go through.”
Moore’s advice for all ages is to “Read!”