‘The Lord got a good one when He called him home;’ community members, former players remember USM great Corky Palmer

Wednesday marks a sad day in the Pine Belt as longtime Southern Miss baseball coach Corky Palmer passed away.
Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 10:38 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Wednesday, Aug. 10, marked a sad day in the Pine Belt as longtime Southern Miss Baseball Coach Corky Palmer passed away.

“The Lord got a good one when He called him home, and we’re going to miss him down here,” said Mitchell Williams, former WDAM Sports Director. “But, I’m sure he’s talking balls and strikes with the good Lord right now.”

Southern Miss great Corky Palmer spent 12 seasons as the head coach of the Golden Eagles baseball team, but the impact he made on his players and the entire community will last for years to come.

“Corky never found anybody that he couldn’t communicate with,” Williams said. “He is one of the most significant coaches this area, or the state of Mississippi, has ever seen and always will be.”

Ben Mosley played for Coach Palmer from 2000-2001, and although it’s been over two decades since he took the field at Pete Taylor Park, Mosley remembers the times he shared with Coach Palmer like it was yesterday.

“One of the times we were playing, we did not play well, and we lost that day,” Mosley said. “We got back on the bus, and we were going to go play cards as if nothing just happened. And he gets on the bus, and he goes, ‘Does this not mean anything? You guys get on the bus; you’re playing cards, having a good ole time, and you all think you’re really good. All of you, thinking about the draft, thinking about the draft. Well, let me let you in on a secret. The only draft you’re going to feel is if you open up the window.’”

Although the coach was often tough, players knew he only wanted the best for them.

“He was tough, but he was fair,” Mosley said.

He’ll be remembered in Hattiesburg and across the state as a man who loved people.

“He’d go over to the sandwich shop and meet with people and talk with people,” Williams said. “He was one of us, and those kinds of folks you want to live forever.”

Copyright 2022 WDAM. All rights reserved.

Want more WDAM 7 news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.