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Junior college athletics is not typically known for its constants. The players are only on their respective teams for two years. Coaches and staff often use the junior college ranks as stepping stones to greater opportunities. Given the volatility of today’s budgets, sports themselves often come and go.
But for 20 baseball seasons at South Georgia State College, there was one ever-present personality at the ballpark: Bari Sims. The wife of SGSC’s head baseball coach Scott Sims, Bari was at every game she could attend. She cheered. She laughed. She cried. She let the umpires know how she felt about on-field calls. She raised their two children, Amy and Luke, at the stadium. Bari adopted Scott’s players as her own and she became a second mother to young men who were often away from home for the first time in their lives.
Bari’s love, compassion, and friendship to the SGSC players as well as faculty, staff, and boosters did not go unnoticed. Though she was not on the field coaching, her involvement in the program made a tremendous contribution to the success the Tigers and then Hawks enjoyed over the years. Scott Sims will tell you quickly that without her by his side, he never would have had the successful coaching career that he did. Even after Scott’s retirement, Bari continued to support the program and attend games.
On August 11, 2023, Bari passed away suddenly at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Savannah. Her passing shocked the SGSC community and left a void that will never be filled.
On February 16, 2024, South Georgia State College will officially establish the Bari L. Sims Memorial Scholarship Fund just prior to the SGSC-St. Johns River baseball game. Friends, family, and players have established the fund in her memory to honor the contributions she made to the baseball program.
There will be a short program beginning at 2:40 p.m. at the William A. Crider Sr. Baseball Field on the SGSC campus. During this ceremony, Bari’s friends and family will collectively reflect on the impactful role she made in the lives of so many people.
There will be no admission to the game. However, the College warmly welcomes and encourages donations to the scholarship fund. Please attend and make this occasion even more special.