Polk will be speaking inside the school’s gymnasium at 7 p.m.
Polk, who was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2009, is one of only three coaches in NCAA history to have taken three different teams — Georgia Southern, Georgia and Mississippi State — to the College World Series. By the time he retired as a head coach following the 2008 season at Mississippi State, Polk had compiled a coaching record of 1,373-700-2 over a 35-year career.
The winningest coach in the history of Mississippi State and the Southeastern Conference, Polk won five SEC championships and four SEC tournament titles, while his teams reached the NCAA regionals 21 times and the College World Series eight times.
The 67-year-old Polk is currently a volunteer assistant coach at UAB.
“We’ve asked him to come over and spend some time and talk to the kids,” Mount Paran coach Harvey Cochran said. “We’ve invited about 10 of the high schools around here to bring some of their players over if they wanted to. With Cobb County being such a hotbed for baseball, and him being a former coach at the University of Georgia and Georgia Southern and Mississippi State, he was willing to come and talk to our kids.
“He’s an assistant now at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and we’re trying to give our kids some idea of what college baseball life would be like if they get fortunate enough to be able to go that route.”
A published author, Polk wrote “The Baseball Playbook,” which is considered to be the definitive reference book for coaches and players who want to understand the game.
“His book about baseball is all about how to teach it — how to play the game and all that sort of stuff,” Cochran said. “A lot of colleges buy and use this book for some of their classroom work. He’s going to be selling that (tonight) as well.”
Cochran added that coaches of summer travel teams are also invited to attend the event.
Cochran and his assistant coaches, Dave McDonald and Kyle Reese, all have histories with Polk.
Cochran and McDonald, who achieved their greatest success during long tenures at North Cobb and Wheeler, respectively, sent some of their players to Polk when he coached at Mississippi State. As longtime baseball coaches, the three often met at various national conferences and have known each other for years.
According to Cochran, Reese, a former player of his at North Cobb has traveled with Polk on several mission trips to the Dominican Republic.
Cochran is excited to have Polk speak to his team and to the other players in the area.
“He’s one of the top five that has ever coached the game of (college) baseball,” he said. “We’re very fortunate to have a man like him come over. He loves to work with high school kids and summer coaches. His playbook is phenomenal. It’s an invaluable tool for people trying to coach these young kids. He’s a great speaker and a good person.”
Tickets for tonight’s event cost $20 each. A portion of the proceeds will go back to each club for each member that attends the event, while another portion of the proceeds will benefit the Mount Paran baseball team.