Keep Swingin’ Big Ticket #40

John Carl (JC) Phelps passed way on Friday, September 18th, 2009 at Wayne County Hospital. John Carl is survived by his wife, Myra Smith Phelps, mother, Judith C. Phelps, children, Elizabeth Phelps Hopper (Jansen), Jacob Christian Phelps, stepchildren, Chris Grider, Samantha Truong (Vinh), and Lyndsey Grider. He is also survived by his father-in-law, Bro. Jerry B. Smith and special aunts Jerry Jones, Hilda Grider and Pam Coffey. He was preceded in death by his father, John Douglas Phelps, his paternal grandparents, Carl and Elizabeth Phelps and his maternal grandparents, Paul and Belva Coffey.

John Carl was born May 20th, 1968 in Louisville, KY. He was a member of the Mt.Pleasant Methodist Church. Visitation was at H.E. Pruitt Memory Chapel in Jamestown, KY on September 20th, 2009 and funeral services were held at Mt. Pleasant Church on September 21st, 2009. John Carl was laid to rest in the Phelps family cemetery. Brothers Bodie Emerson, Terry Sullivan and Jerry Smith performed the services. The Mt. Pleasant Choir provided special songs and Steve Stapp played a melody of music.

JC had spent most of his adult life playing softball. Through the encour¬agement of Mike (Orby) Popplewell and Glen Wooldridge, JC started his career. JC received many awards through the years of playing. He was selected to the All World team 15 times throughout his career. He was awarded 10 National Titles. He won the National Batting Champion two times. He was the USSSA Softball Homerun Champ. He won multiple Homerun Frequency Titles.

JC undoubtedly had his best year in 2008 when he turned “40”. JC was named to the All World Team in Orlando, Florida in September of 2008. The greatest honor he had received in his 20 year career was presented to him at the awards banquet. He was awarded the “Offensive Player of the Year” for all softball players. JC was second in the United States in On Base Percentage at .782 and Home Runs with 81. He is one of the few players to get second in the three categories the players compete for each year. JC rejoined the TPS Advisory Staff for Louisville Slugger the same year. He represented TPS in the 2009 World Softball League Stadium Power Tour as one of the “TPS Bombers” with his hitting partner JD Genter from Chattanooga, TN. JC hit at major league stadiums before major league games to accumulate points for a grand prize at the end of the year. There were 5 teams made up of 10 elite softball players competing for the sole prize at the end of the season.

JC was also a representative for 3N2 sports. He completed a photo shoot in April of 2009 for the 2010 magazine. JC appears on the front cover of the 3N2 Magazine 2010 issue.

JC passed away the weekend prior to the USSSA World Series that is held each year in Kissimmee, Florida at Disney. JC’s team and other teams paid tribute to him by wearing shirts with his name and number and hats with his name and number. The softball world showed their outpouring of love for JC during the entire week and weekend.

JC’s friendly smile and kind words will be missed by all. He was known to many as the “big ticket”. His life impacted people of all ages.

By Raymond Moscoe

About USSSA:

The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), headquartered in Osceola County, Florida, USSSA is the World's Largest Multi-sport Athletic Organization. Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 3.7 million participants, competing in 13 nationally sanctioned sports including Baseball, Fastpitch, Slow Pitch, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and more! For more information on USSSA and to register your team visit Also be sure to visit for the latest USSSA News!


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