Oakwood's inaugural Wall of Fame class talk of town at meet and greet

Oakwood's inaugural Wall of Fame class talk of town at meet and greet

OAKWOOD — It was a challenge for Darrin Fletcher to cast his gaze upon the plaque he received Monday evening.

Pictured on it were the former University of Illinois and major league catcher, along with late grandfather Glen, late father Tom and son Casey. The imagery was a token of appreciation for the first family of Oakwood baseball.

"I just lost my dad. Dad just passed away six weeks ago," Darrin Fletcher said. "So it's still pretty raw for me."

The reason for this gesture gave Fletcher reason to smile, though.

On Monday, he was recognized as one of three former Oakwood High School Comets who will make up the institution's inaugural Wall of Fame class. He's joined by former Chicago Bears offensive guard Cameron Lee and professional dirt track/stock car driver Bobby Pierce.

"There were naturals that need to be in that wall, and these three are obviously a natural that nobody could argue with," said Deanna Witzel, who pitched the concept to Oakwood Mayor Clayton Woodard.

"(There's) the importance of giving kids in our community something to look forward to and somebody to look up to," Woodard said.

Monday's event initially started as a meet-and-greet for fans of Fletcher, Lee and Pierce at the Oakwood McDonald's, one of six owned by Deanna and Don Witzel. The trio signed autographs, posed for photos and raised funds to improve the Comets' baseball diamond.

But about halfway through, the gathering turned into something even more memorable. That was twice as true for Fletcher.

"Putting my name on (the field) is a neat thing," the 51-year-old said. "I played there four years in high school and watched a lot of different people coming in and out of there."

Both Lee and Pierce were shocked to garner the Wall of Fame honor.

"To see a plaque like that, that's honestly something I can say I didn't expect," said Lee, a 24-year-old NFL free agent. "To see the picture and see the nice words, that's awesome."

"To be included in that, man," Pierce added. "If you're a younger kid growing up in the same town ... it really gives you that incentive and everything that you know you can grow to be that some day."

The physical Wall of Fame will be constructed at Oakwood Park, alongside the Comets' baseball field. Present and future plaques will be featured both on that wall and within the village McDonald's.