NORMAN - The University of Oklahoma baseball team held “Durant Day” at L. Dale Mitchell Park on Sunday as around 150 people from the City of Magnolias attended to honor native son Max White.
The final Big 12 Conference home game for the Sooners was chosen as a day to honor White, a senior outfielder for OU, as well as his family and dozens of supporters from Durant.
White’s grandfather, Durant Mayor Jerry Tomlinson, threw out the ceremonial first pitch of the game. White played the role of catcher for this special moment.
“I had some tears coming, just a little. It was emotional,” White said. “He’s been a huge part of my life and the man I am today. That first pitch, I loved that experience.”
“It’s been a wonderful four years for our family and for Max,” said Tomlinson. “It’s been a real treat to watch our community support him over the years. Max has enjoyed a great baseball career at OU. We’re hopeful for bigger and better things.”
In addition to the ceremonial first pitch, Durant natives Michelle Tomlinson Breeden and Hillary Ferrill sang a duet version of the Star Spangled Banner in front of 1,774 people at the OU baseball field. A video of White included his prom memories at Durant High School as well as the city’s current claim to fame: A giant concrete peanut.
The Lions baseball team, White’s parents Kim and Billy White, and numerous family members and friends came to Norman for the occasion.
“I’ve been truly blessed,” White said. “It’s been an unbelievable ride. I’m happy all this has happened.”
White is hoping to enter the professional baseball draft in early June. Sunday’s event was the third of this season for OU baseball, following special recognition dates for Weatherford and Chandler.