Former MJHS pitcher needs liver transplant

Staff Reports • Jun 24, 2017 at 9:30 AM

As a valuable pitcher on Mt. Juliet High School’s 1983 TSSAA state finalist baseball team, Bobby Pennington knew how to throw a mean curve.

Little did he know, he would have to beat the mean curve life would throw at him some 27 years later.

Pennington finished his high school career at Mt. Juliet in 1983 in the state finals baseball tournament, just months after completing his football career with Golden Bears. After high school he married Becky Spruill, also an MJHS alumnus. He spent his college years working for CNA Insurance and followed that with many years as general manager at Southern Mold Builders, their family-owned business in their hometown. Their daughter Savannah was born in 1998 and soon found herself on the diamonds of Mt. Juliet League Park and as a cheerleader for Mt. Juliet Youth Football and Cheer, where the Penningtons gave many hours to the youth of Mt. Juliet as coaches and in multiple other volunteer capacities.

Life, however, threw the Pennington family a mean curve in December of 2010. Bobby was severely injured in a fall from a ladder. Many surgeries and procedures into his recovery from the fall, doctors discovered a hereditary liver disease. Overcoming this disease would be Bobby’s greatest obstacle during his recovery and return to “life as usual.”

Today, Bobby is in the Liver Transplant Program at Vanderbilt Medical Center awaiting his opportunity to be added to a nationwide Liver Transplant List for this region. There are many steps involved in this process, and MJ4Hope wants to help strengthen their hope and offer support during this time.

The third annual MJ4HOPE Charity Golf Event, presented by the Bank of Tennessee (Mt. Juliet), will be held Aug. 5 at Windtree, 810 Nonaville Rd.

Individuals and teams are invited to register for the event, set to begin with a 1:30 p.m. shotgun start. Lunch and check-in will be at 12:30. Awards and dinner will be at 6. A silent auction will take place during the event with many great items. Everyone is welcome to drop in to bid, playing or not. Houston’s Meat & Produce will be providing meals for purchase. Event sponsors and hole sponsors are available. Cost is $100 to play, $200 to sponsor and $15 for the social. Proceeds from this event will be given to the Pennington family during a check signing at Bank of Tennessee’s Mt. Juliet location (1982 Providence Pkwy., Suite 103) at 10 a.m. Aug. 15.

Said MJ4HOPE’s Amy (Brewer) Breedlove, who caught the final out in center field to clinch the 1986 state softball championship for Mt. Juliet, “Hopefully, one day, Bobby will be teaching his curve ball to a grandson or granddaughter. Most importantly, he’ll be proving that no matter what curve life might throw you, it can be overcome with the help of your community! We look forward to sharing in your love and support for the Pennington family! Register or contact us today at: www.mj4hope.org.

“MJ4Hope would like to thank Jason Loggins and the Bank of Tennessee for their past support of MJ4Hope events and for joining with us as the presenting sponsor of this, our third annual golf event. MJ4Hope would also like to thank our premier corporate sponsors Huffaker Group Realty agents, Houston’s Meat & Produce, Burdine Supply, and Game ON Sports for their support as we continue to fulfill our mission to give back to MJ alumni and members of our community who are in need of hope during a time of medical crisis.”

MJ4Hope is an IRS approved 501c3 charitable organization.

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