Hard to imagine given the history of the Port St. Joe Jr./Sr. High School baseball program that 45 years after he graduated Bubba Harmon still holds the program’s career record for batting average.
And that .476 actually fell a bit after a senior season during which Harmon hit .471.
Harmon, a resident of Mexico Beach and father of current Tiger Shark Cameron Harmon, was recently inducted into the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame during ceremonies held April 19.
The timing of the ceremony was not a coincidence.
Superintendent of Schools Jim Norton said that in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, when Mexico Beach and Port St. Joe were at the center of the destruction zone, a little camaraderie and rallying between the communities was appropriate.
Particularly given that Mexico Beach students attend Gulf County Schools in Port St. Joe.
“We want to celebrate and showcase our sister city,” Norton said. “Our communities, Mexico Beach, Panama City and Port St. Joe will stand strong and will rebuild.”
The initial hope was to include Mexico Beach Mayor Al Cathey in the ceremonies, but Cathey declined citing obligations in the ongoing rebuild.
But, he along with Chris and Phil Earley, Eddie Holland the late Dwight Searly, all initially Mexico Beach residents, were remembered for their exploits on PSJHS playing fields.
And, at the same time, Harmon and his achievements lend themselves to a solo spotlight.
Harmon, who attended PSJHS from 1971 until 1974, was a four-year standout in baseball.
Three times he was all-Conference, earned all-State honors and was the voted by his teammates the Tiger Shark MVP twice.
His senior year, he was named to the Florida High School Activities Association North-South Game in Lakeland after batting .471 with three home runs, 41 RBIs and an 11-2 record on the mound.
During that season he tossed three no-hitters, two coming in the same week, the second against Blountstown as Harmon struck out 18 of 21 batters.
“Thank God for giving me the ability to have played a sport that I excelled at so many years ago,” Harmon said.
He also thanked Coach Gerald Lewter and Coach Kesley Colbert, who encouraged Harmon and taught him the fundamentals of baseball.
Lewter was named an assistant coach for the North-South Game at which Harmon participated.